By partnering with schools, church members discover new opportunities to use their skills and passions in meaningful service to their community. Collaborative efforts such as Community Care Day have become vehicles for awareness, ongoing involvement, and deepening relationships among school administrators, community members, pastors, and ministry leaders. Holding a meeting to develop church-school relationships in your county is a fantastic stepping-stone to creating a meaningful network between pastors and principals.
Begin by getting in touch with the Superintendent’s office. Having the Superintendent involved in leadership is vital because it is a stamp of approval for principals in the district to engage in church-school partnerships. The Superintendent will be in charge of inviting principals in their district to the meeting, which can be done through a simple invitation. The sample invitation below is a good example of how a Superintendent can efficiently communicate with principals in the district.
It is important to send out detailed invitations to principals and pastors. PINGG, an online invitation provider, is a fantastic avenue that sends reminders, RSVP’s, and a “Thank You” after the event. Below is an example of a PINGG invitation. You can learn more at www.pingg.com.
Save the date!
Schools & Faith Communities Partnership Breakfast
Thursday, December 6, 2012 from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.
Please join Superintendent _____ and _____ area church leaders for breakfast and conversation about connecting area faith communities and schools to serve the needs in our schools.
Your Host: Superintendent of the district, and School Partnership Network.
Message: Use this to thank all invitees, and discuss the purpose and importance of the meeting, to make all involved excited and valued.
What: School Partnership Meeting
Where: Address of meeting place.
When: Date and time of the meeting.
This invitation is a broader look at the event, and provides pertinent information to invitees. Using PINGG helps organize RSVP’s and centralizes information about the event. Following up on invitations is meaningful as well, and can be done with phone calls to key churches or existing school partnerships.
Materials may include: name tags, attendance sheets, response cards, and brochures for each table about the School Partnership Network. A meal should be provided during the main presentation to acquaint pastors and principals alike. A PowerPoint presentation running during the meeting is an effective way to keep the agenda on track. The PowerPoint can include the names of speakers, information about guest presenters, table discussion questions, Season of Service information, School Partnership Network information, and follow up information.
The agenda for the meeting is quite brief, encompassing only an hour and a half of time.
|7:25 a.m.||Breakfast buffet open|
|7:50 a.m.||Superintendent Opening Remarks|
|8:00 a.m.||Opening Remarks on School Partnership Network|
|8:05 a.m.||“Undivided” video
(“Undivided” is a documentary highlighting the leading example of the partnership between Roosevelt High School and Southlake Foursquare Church)
|8:12 a.m.||What is the School Partnership Network?|
|8:17 a.m.||Guest Speaker
(Guest speakers may include community members that can discuss work being done between churches and schools in the district, or on other pertinent information).
||Table Discussion Time
(Table groups should be a healthy mix of principals and pastors/ministry leaders, to promote diverse discussion between the two groups. See below for suggested table discussion topics and questions)
|8:46 a.m.||Table Reports
(Each table shares one idea or action step regarding church-school partnership)
|8:58 a.m.||Closing Remark|
Table Discussion Topics
- What barriers or hurdles prevent churches and schools from working together?
How do we get overcome them?
- From your experience, what has worked or is working now?
What hasn’t worked?
- What kind of help do schools (or your school) need?
How could a church help meet that need?
- Are you comfortable with churches working with schools?
Why or why not?
- What guidelines or “best practices” would you suggest for these partnerships?
- What do you think the next steps should be?
Providing response cards allows participants to provide information about their church or school. These cards are useful if the participant would like to know more about church-school partnerships beyond this meeting. Furthermore, a School Partnership newsletter may be sent out to pastors and principals to provide updates about successful partnerships and news about relevant events happening in the area. Finally, the PINGG invitations will send out a “Thank You” for the event to let meeting participants know how valuable they are to the community and church-school partnership process.