The Basics of School Partnerships

Written by Stephanie Wieber
Director of City Gospel Movements at the Luis Palau Association

The consistent, enduring presence of a caring adult in a young person’s life can be the difference
between staying in school or dropping out, making healthy decisions or engaging in risky behaviors,
and realizing one’s potential or failing to achieve one’s dreams.
— The Mentoring Effect

With more churches than schools in most communities we have an amazing opportunity to step in and be the difference. Creating a church-school partnership will take time, patience and consistently showing up, and the reward will be life giving.  According to beUndivided there are a series of steps to take in order to begin a church-school partnership.

The first thing that a church needs to do is have no agenda.  Initiate a meeting with the school administration, ideally the principal, and offer up a simple phrase, “we want to help, and we would like to know what your needs are.”  This is simple, but profound.

Next, simply listen to their needs and take those needs back to your church community and assess what would be possible for your church to accomplish.

And finally, commit to the needs you feel that are reasonable for your community to meet and continue to show up.  This last piece is so important.  Continue to be a presence and continue to build trust.  The compounded interest of continuing to show up will pay off in huge dividends for the Kingdom.

Editor’s Notes: Are you interested in school partnerships between your church and your community? Here are some additional ways you can learn about the process and glean from others who have been successful in these attempts.

  • Sign up for the September National School Partnership Call to hear from cities that do this well, to learn best practices, and to connect through the sharing of current stories. Simply email Stephanie Wieber at stephanie.wieber@palau.org to be added to the list!
  • Check out beUndivided.com, LovingHouston.Net, or LifeRemodeled.com for more information, insightful resources, training materials, and ideas of how this approach is working in other cities.

Does the name “Stephanie Wieber” sound familiar? We were blessed to have Stephanie as one of our workshop presenters at Mission ConneXion Northwest 2017: Who Is Able? Conference! Her workshop recording is still available online and is free to download.