It’s that time of year again when public and private schools start a new year. From preschools up through college level, students will be finding new challenges and opportunities. Thoughts that run through the minds of all parents and family include: Will my child or loved one be in a safe environment? Will the teachers and administration create an environment where all students are respected and learning takes place? How can I encourage my church to become involved in meeting these needs?
The most important thing we can do is to pray. Can you imagine the impact this could have on our schools if members would be committed to pray? Pray as individuals and as a congregation. Prayer not only changes things, it changes those who pray.
In addition to safety, students need Christian mentors, students need food for the weekend and teachers need appreciation. Could some of these suggestions implemented across Southern Baptist churches make a difference in your child’s school?
• Encourage members to become involved in your local community school. Become a partner and be visible at school functions and events.
• Adopt a school. Adult Sunday School classes can sponsor a specific class. Are there children who need school supplies to begin classes? Pray for these students and their families.
• Support religious programs where all denominations are welcome. Do the schools in your area have a “Rally Round the Flag” organization?
• Open your educational space for after school tutoring. Use retired teachers or other adult personnel to serve as tutors. Check with your school system as to requirements for screening applicants who apply to work with children.
• Encourage other parents and grandparents to serve as volunteers for field trip chaperons and school functions. This gives students the opportunity to observe people using high Christian standards in their daily lives.
• Check with the school principal for names of families in your community that need help. Could your church provide a weekly or monthly food box or clothing or household supplies? Pray for the needs of these families.
• Start a weekly backpack program with food for the weekend for children from low-income homes. Too many of our children have little to eat during weekends. Insert a newsletter from your church.
• Show the love of Jesus through kindness and compassion to all students.
Making a commitment to pray for your child’s school can have an untold impact. James 5:6 says, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (NIV). B&R — Tomlin, of Jackson, writes for numerous Christian publications.