Resources Relevant to Ministry and Partnerships with Local Schools:
The Texas Annual Conference has launched the Love All God’s Children initiative that will run through 2024. This initiative has three key areas: discipleship, literacy, and health. The Missional Excellence Committee is committed to supporting local churches in their efforts to join in the ministry of this initiative.
How can a local church get involved in ministry with children through partnering with local schools?Step 1: Contact the administration in your local school system. This first step is vital for understanding the needs of the students in your community and to build a relationship with those in leadership positions in your area.
Step 2: Map out your missional goals as a congregation to determine which needs you are being called and equipped to address. Every context and season of ministry is different and making a missional map will aid your church in building a sustainable outreach ministry.
3 Key Areas and 3 Good Examples
When it comes to reaching out to Love All God’s Children in the local school context, discipleship can be difficult. There are many opinions on what best practices are acceptable. With this in mind many churches in the TAC have found creative ways to disciple the school students in their area. In the West District of our Conference, FUMC Navasota has reached out to a nearby apartment complex in order to minister to the students nearest them. This ministry has benefited from the church’s connection to the staff of the apartment complex. Working in partnership the church has been able to provide an afterschool program every Thursday afternoon that is organized similarly to a day of VBS with songs, activities, Scripture lessons, and snacks.
KidsHope USA, is a comprehensive program, with flexibility for churches of any size/type (Highlands UMC, South District / Friendswood UMC, South District / St. John’s UMC, South District)
· Program available exclusively to churches.
· Includes training, support, resources, and ongoing materials for all roles.
· Regional support teams and child psychologist/counselor team for personal assistance.
· In use by congregations of less than 50 and more than 20,000.
· Positions any church to form relationships and meet the real needs of real people.
Communities in Schools works with struggling students and their families have a hard time accessing and navigating the maze of public and private services. There may be ample resources in a community, but rarely is there someone on the ground who is able to connect these resources with the schools and students that need them most. Through a school-based coordinator, we bring community resources into schools to empower success for all students by removing barriers for vulnerable students at risk of dropping out, keeping kids in schools and on the path to graduation and leveraging evidence, relationships and local resources to drive results. https://www.communitiesinschools.org/
Back Pack Buddy. Nutritious, kid-friendly food is provided for the weekend for at-risk children in schools grade K-12 and summer meal program sites. This is a program through the Houston Food Bank where we distribute, to multiple schools, prepackaged meals for the weekend. They are given to kids that during the week are on free or reduced cost lunches. The importance of this program cannot be understated as it can allow churches to become a trusted partner in local schools.