Thanks to CYMT’s Meghan Hatcher for sharing this Great Idea (or Eye Opener).

Hatcher shares a story of beginning a new ministry just as the congregation prepared for their traditional Back-to-School Sunday observation, in which congregational members were invited to purchase whatever school supplies they deemed best so that an altar display could be created as the back-drop to the Sunday; the supplies would be doled out to area school teachers after worship.

As the daughter of a public school teacher, Hatcher knew that this lovely tradition would miss the mark for several teachers, explaining how her own parent often discovered unforeseen needs or altered plans to better align with students’ needs as the year progressed – meaning the congregation’s static once-and-done approach to providing supplies would rarely cover actual classroom and student needs.

Hatcher suggested gift cards – and met with negative feedback based on the congregation’s interests and traditions.

Read more here to learn how she met the redactors’ challenges and how the school supply drive evolved into a new, yet still lovely, tradition-honoring event that truly supported the teachers and students it was intended to support.