Connecting with Schools

By Leslie Bolser

My six-year-old loves activity sheets—mazes, connect the dots, and spot the differences, are her favorites. Once she has completed the activity, she spends more time coloring the finished product with her crayons. One activity book can occupy her for hours.

On occasion, she will show me a connect-the-dots picture she completed and colored, and the picture looks a little, well, off. She has missed a couple of the dots, which changes how the picture looks altogether.

If you are the primary user of XP3 for your church, hopefully you have seen the green “Connecting with Schools” tab at the top of the page, and hopefully your interest was piqued.

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But maybe you need something to help you connect the dots.

The tab is exclusive content for XP3 users, intended to help you draw lines between what you are teaching your students in ministry on Sunday or Wednesday evenings (or whenever you meet) and a clear way to activate them throughout the week, specifically in service to the local school.

Our resource to help you connect what you do in church to everyday life in the local school is called Re:Connect and created by our partner organization, Core Essential Values. Re:Connect is student driven and designed to be “in reply to” how students see monthly values played out in their school. In addition to forming relationships and helping the school, you can facilitate students leading their peers.

Core Essential Values provides XP3 Primary Users with a vision journal to explore the idea of working within the public school. We also offer a correlation between the scope and sequence of the XP3 material and the common language of values that you can use within the school (if you are familiar with 252 Basics, those will be familiar, because they are the same values as the Life Apps!)

The first line you will see on the matrix says, “Start Here.” (We mean it; you’ll want to start there.) When you expand that, you will find a Vision Journal intended for use by a church staff member or volunteer who will be working with the local school as a facilitator.

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The journal leads you through the process of discerning your call in this field and creating a vision for the “school that can be” if a culture of values is present.

You will also find two videos: one intended to help you and church leaders understand how this connects to the faith life of your students, and the other is to play for school personnel to cast vision there.

In the next tab, you will find four PDF files, one for each of the series in the fall section of the scope and sequence, and each of those contains:

Communicator Connections: These are ways for the communicator to connect the topic of the message with the monthly value directly, or the idea of considering the school as a mission field in general.

Small Group Questions: This document provides additional suggestions for connecting to the monthly value via discussion questions for small group leaders

XP@School: For most months, we also include an option for doing the XP in a way that incorporates the school.

These resources are provided for churches that are using both XP3 and Re:Connect as a means to connect the dots in a clear way between students and your ministry.

To talk more about Re:Connect, email Leslie Bolser at, or call 765-977-7520.

Orange Conference 2018