This article was written by Warren Gasaway, student ministry specialist at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
With summertime fading, the new school year is at hand. According to home school, private school, and public school data, just over 513,000 Kindergarten through 12th grade students will be in Arkansas classrooms very soon.
What a great time to strategize as a church how to reach the students in your area. Perhaps your church could adopt a school for the year and build a relationship by serving teachers, doing some building and grounds work, offering to tutor, dropping off food for the staff, or feeding a team/band/club.
At minimum, a church can agree to pray for the schools in her area. You can visit https://www.absc.org/ministries/prayerwalking-ministry/ for help in prayer points and how to prayer walk the schools in your area.
With the start of a new school year, it’s also a good time to encourage teachers, staff, and students to focus on their walk with the Lord. Now may be a good time to initiate a Bible reading plan, offer some devotional material, or help students or teachers/staff form accountability groups to better strengthen their followship of Jesus.
According to the Center for Bible Engagement, research dramatically shows that those who read Scripture at least four times a week are greatly transformed in their walk with Christ.
– 59% less likely to view pornography
– 30% less likely to struggle with loneliness
– 407% more likely to memorize Scripture
– 228% more likely to share their faith with others
– 231% more likely to disciple others
(See “Scientific Evidence for the Power of 4” for more detail.)
Those who want—who truly want—the next generation, will get them. Mobilizing for that mission field will take some strategy and planning to build relationships, foster an environment of prayer, and strengthen the missionaries we send to school each day.