The holiday season is fast approaching! Radiant red, forest green, sparkling white and a host of other colorful decorations will soon be everywhere. Our festive cities have wrapped the once bare light poles with fresh garland and artificial snowflakes. Lively shopping centers have placed a massive tree where there once was a stunning fountain. And as we cruise through our neighborhoods, we see that some of our celebratory neighbors have added a little Christmas flair to their houses. The blissful holidays are upon us! What an exciting time!
Even we are in the holiday spirit! We have gone into our storage spaces or maybe we have decided on a new look this year. We have pulled out the trees and prepared to change our marquees to something more festive. One thing is for sure, our facilities look quite different than they do the rest of the year. Maybe a bright North Star here or a nativity scene there. Some poinsettias would look just perfect on the platform. What could we be forgetting?
As in years past, we know that families from our communities will visit our churches more this season than others. So we go above and beyond to make memorable experiences. But something we may forget is that these families may need memorable experiences Monday through Saturday too. And where are the kids of these families most of those days? In school.
One of the best ways to make a significant impact this holiday season is to minister to the schools in our communities. Like our ministries, the schools in our communities could greatly benefit from the generous support of selfless volunteers. Which school leaders can we meet with to support them this holiday season? They could probably spout off several areas in which they need our support. We could come away from those meetings with so many opportunities.
Maybe their bland facilities need holiday decorations. Or maybe we could offer our spacious auditorium for their annual holiday program or concert. Might a canned goods and toy collection help families in need? Might the teachers benefit from a holiday-themed, surprise appreciation party? Or maybe some students need tutoring to help them meet requirements this semester.
Though these ideas are specific to the holiday season, how can we invest into our local schools throughout the year? Let’s use the same approach, by asking school leadership first. We don’t want to spend valuable time creating solutions to problems that don’t exist. Again, the school principals or headmasters probably have a great sense of the needs within their schools.
Let’s bring our ideas to the meeting and see if they line up with the school’s needs. Maybe there is a dynamic after-school program that we could establish and maintain. Or maybe we can set up a resource space to keep requested supplies on hand. Maybe our shuttles can be used to transport students to and from certain events. The opportunities are endless.
Whenever this and other holiday seasons come around, let’s remember the schools in our communities. The investments we make there could actually lead families to our churches; making it more than worth it.