How Your Church Can Adopt a School

Lindsay Lane Baptist Church in Florissant, Missouri (a suburb of St. Louis) made a decision to adopt the local elementary school nearby. They provide a great example for local church’s to follow.

This week at the Exponential Conference, my friend Danny Kirk who pastors Lindsay Lane Baptist Church shared this picture with me and the story of how God had been working through them to bless this school this past year. (I asked him if I could share their story on this blog.)

He told me how they helped the school by helping to serve at a car show fund raiser. Danny told them, “We’ll help you with that. Just tell us what you need us to do.” The church allowed those attending the event to park their cars in their parking lot. Then they bought all the food (hot dogs, baked goods, and soda), grilled the hot dogs, and sold it for them and gave all the profit to the school.

Then the church held a “Free for Fall” Festival. I’d never heard of this so Danny explained to me how they encouraged the church members to bring all kinds of good (unwanted) stuff to fill their gymnasium. And then they invited the neighborhood and all the kids’ parents to just come and take it – “free for all.” A few weeks later a woman who had come to the festival visited their church. “She was saved in the adult Sunday School class and I baptized her.”
They also helped the school at Thanksgiving by putting together 20 complete Thanksgiving baskets and gave them to needy families. They asked teachers if they could pray for them by name and all but two said yes. They also asked the teachers for a “wish list” of what they needed in their classrooms. Then the church members filled every item on the lists and gave them to the teachers in big gift baskets.

Next Friday, Danny will be grilling again for all the fifth graders at the school!

It’s amazing how simple acts of service can open doors in your community. What will you do?
6 Ways to Bless a Local School You Adopt
Here’s what Danny posted on his blog

Our church building sits on a busy road with an elementary school just a block away on the same street. Daily, during the school year, I can watch hundreds of kids walking on the sidewalk to the school in the morning and back home again in the afternoon. Over a decade ago, I got the bright ideal to send some of our church staff over to the school to pass out Vacation Bible School fliers to the students on the sidewalks. Noticing our activities, the school administrators told us to vacate the sidewalk and not to bother the students with our invitations on their way home. The school felt the need to protect the students from any unwanted solicitation. We were disappointed and confused. We had not approached the school again to serve them until this school year.

Last year, our church involved itself in LifeWay’s Transformational Church survey and discovery process. We realized that while we had great fellowship within our church, we were not investing in our community very well. We were failing to be the body of Christ to our neighbors and therefore were not impacting our community so that it would reflect the Kingdom of God. Change was necessary!

Part of our action plan for transformation was to go back to the elementary school across from our church and ask the administrators if we could “adopt them,” meaning

  1. We would pray for the teachers by name every day.
  2. We would survey the teachers to find out what kind of school supplies that they needed in their classrooms. We filled every “wish list” presented to us.
  3. We would celebrate the teachers’ birthdays and have a teachers appreciation day once a month.
  4. We would help them in any school events (we have already sponsored Car shows, Spring Carnivals, and field trips).
  5. We would help families in need within the school with food and clothing.
  6. We would host a Back-to-School carnival to provide school supplies to families.

The school, the students, and the parents have been amazed that we would care for them. Why should the world that God loves, be surprised and amazed that a church would love on them? Our school had every right to be amazed we had ignored them for years.

The other day, I went by the school and saw a message on their outside sign that brought tears to my eyes. Without fanfare, the school posted that they were thankful for all that we do for them.

The believers at Lindsay Lane Baptist realize that in comparison to what our Savior has done for us, we have done so little. God is the giver of all things! I am so glad that our “adoption” went through! McCurdy Elementary is God’s gift to us that we might demonstrate the love of Christ!

I love this!

Danny told me, “It’s all about getting missional in the community! There’s a lot of churches that could do the same thing.”
It’s not that complicated!

How will you begin to be a blessing in your community?

Today’s Missional Challenge

Adopt a local elementary school near you. Consider how to serve the school, the students, and even the parents!

Author

Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
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