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Resources: Serve Your Neighbor

Engaging Local Schools Resource cover image
Engaging Local Schools Resource
Increasing numbers of churches are considering how they can best support and engage their local schools. Through videos, presentations, and supplemental materials, the Engaging Local Schools Resource guides your congregation in considering questions that are critical to the success of a school-focused service initiative:
  • How can your church express more fully a heart for the needs of children and schools?
  • How can you discern a vision for a school partnership that responds to the needs present in your context and utilizes the unique gifts your church has to offer?
  • What are models and best practices for ministries that support students and teachers?

Engaging Local Schools is ecumenical and designed for both self study and for use with groups in your church.

Available at the Church Leadership Store
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Rev. Tom Berlin Rev. Asa Lee Dr. Lovett H. Weems, Jr. Dr. Ann Michel

Rev. Tom Berlin — pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Va.
Rev. Asa Lee — assistant director for programs of the Lewis Center
Dr. Lovett H. Weems, Jr. — distinguished professor of church leadership and director of the Lewis Center
Dr. Ann Michel — associate director of the Lewis Center

Video presentations
Engaging Local Schools includes three video presentations.

The Power of Doing What Matters
By Rev. Tom Berlin
Floris United Methodist Church has found exciting and creative ways to engage with a nearby school. Rev. Tom Berlin describes this one part of their mission outreach that is both local and global.
Why Schools Matter to the Church
By Rev. Asa J. Lee
School partnerships are part of a larger mission of engaging our communities. In order for this work to be effective, the local church must have a clear theological grounding for its action. Rev. Asa J. Lee provides theological and biblical framing for engaging our schools.
Discerning a Vision for Supporting a Local School
By Lovett H. Weems, Jr.
What type of school partnership will work in your setting? Each school has unique needs and every congregation has unique gifts and resources to employ in serving the community. This presentation outlines steps to take before launching a school partnership to learn better what needs are present in your schools and to assess your congregation’s strengths so that a school partnership plan will be fruitful in your context.
Narrated presentations and resources
Engaging Local Schools also includes narrated presentations with brief video introductions, other resources, and many supplementary materials related to the videos and presentations.

Supplying Student Needs
By Dr. Ann Michel
This presentation offers an overview of school partnership programs that provide students with school supplies, books, meals, or uniforms. It considers some of the opportunities and challenges of this type of ministry, lifting up examples and best practices.
Supporting and Affirming Teachers
By Dr. Ann Michel
Teachers are key to the success of our schools. This presentation considers how your congregation can support local education through efforts to honor, support, and recognize teachers.
Helping Students Succeed
By Rev. Asa Lee
This presentation provides an overview of school partnership programs that deploy church volunteers to work directly with students, including mentoring, tutoring, before- and after-care, and academic enrichment programs. This presentation also considers the need for appropriate training and safety precautions to ensure that a child-centered ministry is conducted in a sound and appropriate manner.
Developing a Heart for the Needs of Children and Schools
By Dr. Lovett H. Weems, Jr.
What is your congregation’s understanding of schools? This presentation considers what can be done in your church to build awareness and support for local schools.
Other resources and supplementary materials
  • What Can Your Church Do Through Partnerships to Support Children, Teachers and Your Public Schools? from the United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries
  • 50 Ways to Engage Local Schools, a Lewis Center Resource
  • Why Should Churches Serve Children in Poverty? and Communicating a Vision for a Church-School Partnership by Jake McGlothin, Director of Serve Ministries, Floris UMC
  • Chart: Identifying Strategic Initiatives
  • Experiencing Public Schools: A Process of Immersion and Discernment from the United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries
  • Identify Community Ministry Needs by Listening by Joy F. Skjegstad
  • Floris UMC’s “Help Hungry Kids” Program Information
  • Celebrating Educators Program, Community of Christ, Kansas City, MO
  • Demonstrate Vision in Relevant Ways, Impact Church, Atlanta, GA
  • The Character Club, Mount Olivet Baptist Church
  • Volunteer Handbook, Germantown UMC, Germantown, TN
  • Mentoring Guide, PALS Mentoring Program, Floris UMC, Herndon, VA

Enter store  Engaging Local Schools is available at the Church Leadership Store.