“But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16 NIV
I pray that you are continuing to pray and are connecting with schools and neighbors about showing Christ’s care schools throughout your community. Although I talked about your specific neighborhood schools last week, we all know that the schools who are most in need may reside outside your neighborhood or zip code. Remember the Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and ends of the earth model; and make sure you reach your “Samaria” the people and places that are often overlooked or even avoided. Jesus deliberately traveled through Samaria on His way to Jerusalem; a route most often avoided by Jews at that time. His short stop for water turned into a two day visit that not only changed a woman getting water at a well but many more became believers. (John 4:41) I pray that your prayer, care and sharing of the gospel results in many more believers!
This week we turn our attention and affection to faith clubs on campuses. There are a wide variety of clubs for elementary through college students, educators and even moms. Elementary students can attend Good News Clubs (www.cefonline.com) or other Bible-based clubs after school, and offer training and materials for adult club volunteers. These clubs give people an amazing opportunity to encourage and impact children’s lives while teaching them morals, character, respect, and more. Students can also be released from school for religious education in various amounts of time depending on the state laws. You can get more information at www.releasedtime.org and www.schoolministries.org.
Middle school and Senior High school clubs abound! There are many clubs including CRU, Young Life, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Youth for Christ, and many more. These ministries also serve college campuses which have even more opportunities including InterVarisity, Ratio Christi, Navigators, and various denominational ministries. Clemson University has over 40 campus ministry organizations registered on their campus. Faith clubs are student-led and teacher or staff sponsored and offer Christian friendship, support, prayer, opportunities to serve their school and community and testimonies that foster stronger faith throughout these difficult years. I want to encourage you to check out www.everyschool.com to find great resources and information for students, parents and educators.
Educators are free to gather together in prayer and Bible study groups on campus during non-contracted work hours. Teachers and staff can gather before and after school and even during their lunch break to pray for their schools, district and one another. These groups offer support in a trusted environment and often lead service projects for their school and community. They are the first to respond in crisis and often sought out by peers when personal prayer is needed. Christian Educators Association International (previously called National Educator’s Fellowship) has been serving educators since 1953 with a variety of resources including partnering with FACE for Educators to provide a FREE weekly devotional book for Educator prayer groups and daily encouragement email. Share this information with every educator you know and encourage them to go to www.ceai.org.
As students and educators are praying inside the schools, parents, grandparents and neighbors should be praying outside the schools. Moms in Prayer International, www.momsinprayer.org provides resources and training for moms and grandmothers to gather weekly and pray fervently over their children’s school. Of course parents, churches and neighbors can gather any time to pray for students and schools. A great model of these groups crossing school and district lines to pray, strengthen and serve one another can be found at www.compasslink.org. This Minneapolis based ministry is an inspiring model of how Christians can transform their community and others by training and equipping them to share the love of Christ on and beyond their campuses.
With all of these prayer opportunities, imagine what our students, schools and communities would look like if every Christian student, parent, educator and neighbor were praying, caring and sharing through this various clubs. Better yet, imagine what it will look like when God answers those prayers! I challenge you to encourage students, educators and parents to be involved in campus faith clubs on every campus, including colleges and universities in your zip code and prompt other people in different zip codes to do the same, so that campus faith clubs are thriving on every campus by the end of the year 2020.
Love is a verb…let’s get moving!
For more ideas on prayer-care-share for schools we interviewed three Education/Youth partners; Forrest Turpen, Chuck Klein and Tim Eldred. You can read their interviews in the Coaching Corner section at www.LOVE2020.com.