How to Transform ​Your School into A Missional Community?

At the heart of missional communities is developing deep and lasting relationships. Those relationships used to occur as families came, put their kids in our school and they became a part of our church family. Now people come to put their kids in school and come to church possibly when the children are asked to sing in church. And in my school in Milwaukee, if we didn’t put those musical selections after the sermon, the parents and children would trickle out one by one until most were gone before the message. Getting parents to commit long enough to build a relationship with them is challenging. What can a church and school do? We need to create this community where people live and breathe. It means finding a common issue, a common concern, and a common passion. You may ask what is a mission community? 

“A missional community is a way to organize the church to gather and send groups of people on a common mission (i.e. to engage artists in the city, renew your neighborhood, or help the homeless downtown). Simply put missional communities are a group of people who are learning to follow Jesus together in a way that renews their city, town, village, hamlet, or other space.” -from “Called Together” by Jonathan Dobson & Brad Watson

A New Way to Create Relationships

Before you dismiss this as not your Father’s church. Think back to what Jesus did. He was a master at building deep life-long relationships. What lessons can we take from our Lord to reach our school families? Stick with me through this post. 

Jesus Invited others In

Mark gives us a picture of Jesus’ intentional way of building relationships. “He appointed twelve and called them apostles. He appointed them to be with him, to be sent out to preach,” (Mark 3:14). Mark makes it clear Jesus selected these twelve so he could spend time with them and  build strong relationships with each of them during his public ministry. From those twelve Jesus had an inner circle, Peter, James, and John. He broke bread with them. He shared good times and bad with them. They struggled together, cried together, saw mighty acts of God together they “did life” together. How would this look in your Christian day school? If you had families ready to connect with a group of school parents and together you live life together. You build deep lasting relationships together. It may not look like your typical church but imagine the powerful way God can grow disciples. The hope would be that these communities join the local church, but that will take time. These unconnected people are not former churchgoers coming home, many have never attended church and don’t know what they are missing.  

Jesus Reached Out

People come to our schools for safety but they also come to be a part of a family. They come hoping to form relationships for their children and themselves. Jesus understood every human being needs these kinds of relationships. I have a friend who once told me, “We all long to belong.” Every human wants healthy relationships. In the church we know healthy relationships need the proper foundation, that foundation is Jesus. Paul explains what Jesus models for us in healthy relationships, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”Imagine offering this kind of community to our families. Life transforming ministry, life-transforming relationships, and life-transforming community.  

Some Questions to get you started:

  1. How is a school on mission organized? 
  2. How will we train missional community leaders?
  3. How do we choose a common mission? 
  4. How do we create a healthy culture of modeling Christ-like love? 

Other posts in this series:

This post is talks about making the school your mission.

This post is about a creating a common vision and direction for your church and school.

And this post address the outreach opportunities many church are not taking full advantage of in their own backyard.

All of the posts on this blog were created to encourage the church at large.  If you think it will help advance ministry you are welcome to share and follow the blog.  Have a blessed day.

5 Comments on “How to Transform ​Your School into A Missional Community?

  1. I love it! Our church voted yesterday to begin a new preschool… The one question: Is this a mission of the church or is it a business? I answer, “Yes, it is both. The missional component is reaching out to our community (we only have two children from our congregation that would take advantage of this), a pond to fish from, or as this article states, building ‘healthy relationships’ with those not connected to the church, and a stewardship (business) component that utilizes the resources of our people with integrity and hope! I will share this with our board! Thanks


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