Thanks to Lyndy Zabel, Global Connections and Missional Initiatives Coordinator for the MN Annual Conference of the UMC for sharing this Great Idea.

Zabel’s post references Jake McGlothin’s 2017 book, The Mission-Minded Guide to Church and School Partnerships (Abingdon) which lays out the numerous and varied needs schools and their students and families experience throughout the diverse settings in which our schools are located. These diverse needs and experiences mean that congregations can support the work of schools in diverse ways, including:

  • basic needs such as clothing and/or hygiene
  • material needs of school supplies
  • school needs like landscape or hallway beautification
  • financial needs
  • space needs such as rooms for programming
  • relational needs such as mentoring, tutoring, child-care, meals, staff appreciation, etc.

Zabel highlights some essential guiding principles to help congregations get started, the most basic of which is establishing and nurturing relationships; a long-term commitment is essential to the worth and grace of the offering.

Zabel also focuses on the safety and needs of the children and the importance of following the school’s lead on background checks and appropriate training.

Every community and therefore every school and congregation present their own challenges and needs, and their own strengths and gifts, so each relationship between a school and congregation will be unique. But developing these relationships, says Zabel, will be transformative and a ‘win’ for all involved.

Read Lyndy Zabel’s full post here.