Start a Compass Ministry
Starting a Compass Ministry in your Church
Compass Public School Ministry is a church based effort to connect and equip the Christian community within public schools to help them live out their faith in a God honoring and transformational way. For any missions-minded church, it is impossible to ignore the "across the street" mission field of the public schools. 50 million students in our nation attend public schools and, during their school years, each will spend 16,000 hours walking these hallways and sitting in these classroom. At Compass it is our hope that more and more churches across the nation will prayerfully consider how God may be calling them to reach out to and into public schools and support the unique needs of the Christian educators and families who are called there.
To connect and equip Christian educators, parents and students, empowering them to live their faith confidently,
in order to transform our public schools through the love and truth of Jesus Christ.
If you feel God leading you to consider starting a public school ministry in your church, here are some steps to consider:
Identify a core group of public school parents, educators and/or students to start a prayer effort seeking God's guidance in starting a public school ministry within your church.
2-SHARE THE VISION
Approach pastoral staff, sharing the vision of the role of the church in coming alongside those called to the mission field of the public schools. Facts to consider:
The public schools are the largest "across the street" mission fields in our nation. For any "mission-minded" church it is an important one to support.
50 million students across the nation spend close to 16,000 hours in school K-12, compared to the maybe 1300 hours they may spend in church related activities. The 4-14 window research shows these years are critical in the spiritual developments of these students.
Of the 3.1 million public school educators, close to 650,000 of these are Christians (attend church regularly).
Share what God is doing in the Minneapolis area to help church leadership to envision the "could be." See "The Compass Story" at http://www.compasslink.org/What-is-Compass.
As a church takes the first step to embrace and support the mission field of the public schools, pastors can corporately lift up those called to educating our children. During a church service early in the school year, pastors can pray for and commission these missionaries off to their mission field of the public schools. This step can have a huge impact as you work to raise awareness of this mission field and encourage the educators and families called there. See a recent commissioning service https://vimeo.com/217599676.
Hold an event (breakfast or luncheon) and personally invite educators within your church and throughout your community for the purpose of connecting and equipping Christian educators across districts in your area.
Daniel Weekends - Educators are being equipped through Daniel Weekends, a partnership between Tentmakers and CEAI, and are being challenged to transform their public schools through the love and truth of Jesus Christ. The fruit of these efforts are making a huge impact on our schools all over the US . https://ceai.org/daniel-project/
Religious Liberties Seminars - Our First Amendment protects our rights to live our faith authentically within our public schools. Although educators have certain limitations due to the Establishment Clause, students have complete freedom to read their bibles, share their faith and pray at school. Few understand the freedoms they have leading them to believe they need to check their faith at their public school doors. By providing training on these rights, Christians are empowered to live out their faith boldly and authentically allowing His Light to shine in our schools. For resources on how to share this information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information go to https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/religionandschools/prayer_guidance.html
Public School Parenting Workshops - Organize and encourage parents to attend a public school parenting workshop to learn how to effectively support their student during their public school journey. Prepare the Way Ministries has wonderful resources for both parents and educators as you organize this event. www.preparetheway.us
- Provide quarterly training on relevant topics – Suggestions: Educator Topics: Living out Faith in the Classroom, How to Start a Staff Prayer Group in your School, Understanding our Muslim Students, How To Pray for Your School, or Starting a District "Staff for Christ" group. Parent Topics: Biblical Worldview Training, Opting Your Student Out of an Activity, Praying for Your School, How to Impact Your School Culture, or Getting Involved in Your School. To connect with resources related to these topics, contact us at email@example.com.
6 - BUILD COMMUNITY
- Develop a monthly newsletter to develop an effective form of communication with educators and families.
- Utilize compasslink.org and other social media to build community.
- Encourage educators to begin forming prayer groups and bible studies with other staff members in their schools outside of contract hours.
- Look for opportunities to connect educators across districts, i.e. "District Staff for Christ" groups.
- Encourage parents and teachers to connect to form before and after school student bible studies in elementary schools like Good News Clubs and similar programs in order to provide opportunities for students to study God's Word and connect with Christian community at school.
- Encourage student-led bible studies and prayer groups in middle schools and high schools supported by educators at these schools. Train educators on how they can come alongside these students to support and disciple them. Consider "My Story" student outreach events in your school.http://www.grace.church/my-story-events
- Encourage parents to connect in prayer for their students and schools, i.e. Moms in Prayer groups.
- Encourage Christians to plug into existing Christian Community in your schools (FCA, Young Life, CRU, Moms in Prayer, Good News Clubs, Campus Faith Clubs, etc)
- Look for opportunities to come together to serve generously within your schools, showing the love of Christ by meeting your schools most basic needs. http://www.grace.church/big-serve-1
7 - RESOURCES
Compass Team Emailfirstname.lastname@example.org
Compass Website - www.compasslink.org
Facebook – "Compass-Navigating Public Education"
Christian Educators Association - www.ceai.org
If you are interested in starting a Compass Public School Ministry in your church and need additional support, please contact us at email@example.com.