Engage Your Local Schools

As the school year begins winding down, now is the perfect time to start thinking of ways to engage your local schools through your church when the next school year begins. This month, we are highlighting two unique ways you can easily partner with the schools where you live to bring the Gospel to the families in your community.

All Pro Dads Day

All Pro Dads Day is a monthly event held in local schools in hundreds of communities. It was created by Family First to provide an opportunity for dads to spend quality time with their children that strengthens their relationship, as well as benefits the child’s school and the entire community. Each school’s “Chapter” is unique in how they structure this monthly event.

This past winter, some of the Dad’s of Illuminate Indy (Indianapolis, IN) launched their first Chapter in a local Elementary School where some of the kids in their church attended school. The All Pro Dads Day event included free breakfast donated by school, and was themed around a character value with Gospel-based roots. The first event had 15 in attendance. But the response was so tremendous that their second month’s event more than tripled in size!
In April of this year, Illuminate Indy launched it’s 2nd Chapter in another school where kids from the church attended with over 70 Dads and their kids in attendance! Through the response to these monthly events, they’ve learned there is a genuine desire in the community for an opportunity for parents to connect and strengthen the relationships with their children. It’s a simple way to directly serve the families of your community while instilling Christ-like values and ways of living and loving others.

Family First has made it easy for churches or organizations to start and facilitate their own All Pro Dads Day events. Once you sign up to start a Chapter at AllProDadsDay.com (with a $50 annual fee) they provide you with all the monthly promotional materials, event handouts, powerpoints, videos and event structure and formats–all you have to do is partner with your school to put the event on!

If you are interested in getting more info, or have questions on starting your own Chapter, you can visit AllProDadsDay.com or contact Illuminate Indy Lead Pastor, Chad Garrison at chad@illuminateindy.com.

DIVE at School

Since 2008, DIVE at School has been involved in elementary schools in New Castle, Indiana, loving on kids and sharing the Gospel week after week. Started simply to meet a need from a struggling principal, the DIVE ministry has caused a measured change in school environments. Through partnering with and giving resources to other churches, it has now spread to 5 elementary schools in New Castle, one in a neighboring county, and in other locations across the state and around the world.
At the beginning of 2019, the New Castle Foursquare Church began partnering with two other churches and the local YoungLife chapter to dream about an after-school ministry called WyldDIVE in the New Castle Middle School. It officially kicked off on April 12, 2019 and is planned again for mid-May.

For more information, visit Diveatschool.org. The DIVE at School ministry will be featured in a breakout at Foursquare Connection in Nashville, along with the newly published curriculum and instructions on how to get started. Natalie Werking (nwerking@foursquare.org) is also ready and available to help Heartland District churches get DIVE started in their local schools. We believe that preaching the Gospel in the school environment, where kids spend so much time, is one of the most effective ways to reach the community! It’s cheap, legal and easy — and has huge Kingdom impact!

Tips for Engaging Your Schools:

  • Prayer! Begin praying for a school in your area today!  Through prayer, our hearts become united and direction becomes clearer.  Ask the Lord for protection for students, for joy in teacher’s hearts, and for favor with administration.
  • Start where you already have connection. This could be schools where you have kids/youth in your church already attending, or people who are teachers, or administration in the the school. Build on the natural relationships in place!
  • Approach the school principal and administration ready to serve where ever needed. Simply asking, “What needs can we help fill?” goes a long way to establish trust and relationship.
  • It’s Legal. We all know that the Gospel changes lives.  And the Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that before & after school ministry clubs are 100% allowed.  So don’t be afraid to share the Gospel!  The doors of schools are open currently, so walk in with the Good News!
  • Remember this is Kingdom work — not church growth work! You may never see any of these kids or parents outside of this setting, so maximize the time you have WITH them, and don’t expect them to start attending your church services because of your ministry there to them. Jesus told us to “Go into all the world”, and He also said “I will build my church.”
Written by Chad Garrison and Natalie Werking

Related Posts