Christmas is a Wonderful Season to Serve!

on Wednesday, December 03, 2014 Posted in Stories, School Partnership Network, Happenings, School Partnership Network, Opportunities

The rush of the fall and the start of school have quickly passed. By now both students and their teachers have firmly settled into the routine of another school year. While there is a measure of comfort in getting back into the normal pace and schedule of the academic year, there is also the stark realization of all that needs to be done before the last day of school in June. At times that task can seem overwhelming!

This stress is compounded as things rush into the holiday season. Families get busier, opportunities for outside distractions increase, and extra projects begin to pile up. If there was ever a season when your local school staff and families could use a little help, it's during the hectic season approaching the Christmas break.

We are convinced this season is the perfect time for church and faith leaders to pitch in and serve their local schools. There are many opportunities to assist in students' classrooms, whether elementary or teens. Perhaps it's helping an elementary class prepare for that annual Christmas program or classroom party. Middle school students often take special field trips during the two weeks leading up to the break. At high schools you'll find concerts, dramatic productions, or activities surrounding school sports or socials. In addition, in almost every grade level there is testing that goes on in the classroom as teachers work to meet state standards. All of these create an opportunity to get involved "hands on" with what is happening at the school!

One of my favorite ideas, practiced by several churches at this time of year, is to honor and "spoil" the staff and teachers at your adopted school in many simple ways. It's amazing what a few muffins and coffee can do for the morale of the teachers. Perhaps it's buying the teachers all movie passes, a gift card from a local restaurant or collecting a "wish list" from each teacher and having your church meet as many of those needs as possible. Caring for the staff of your school truly helps communicate Christ's love during the holidays.

This time of year also brings opportunities to meet specific needs for students who are less fortunate. Providing warm coats, gloves, underwear, socks and other essentials are often the best "gifts" you can give many students. Helping provide food or other basic essentials for distribution can go a long way toward meeting needs that might not otherwise be met.

The point is, at Christmas time we have a wonderful opportunity to reach out and touch the lives of those in our adopted schools in very specific and meaningful ways. The little things we do to share the love of Christ during the season named after His birth are often used by God to make a big impact.

Christmas is a wonderful season to serve! What can you and your church do to make Christmas a little more like "Christmas" at your local school?