the amazing gains from volunteering at your community's schools
As a father of elementary school aged children, I've tried to make it a priority to be a volunteer in their school.
Honestly, there have been many times where I have felt like I shouldn't be doing this because my “job” needs me to be at work.
But, this year in particular, I've found that volunteering in the schools, whether it is a teacher's aid or helping out the office personnel, is a HUGE ministry opportunity. In fact, I would venture to say that every Family, Children and Youth Minister should really try to find ways to volunteer in the schools. Here is why:
Schools need help
Believe it or not, not all parents can volunteer. In part because their jobs do not give them the flexibility or freedom to do that. Whether we believe it or not, many ministry jobs are very flexible. In large part because we are always on-call. So schools are always looking for volunteers. This is a great way for you to serve your community.
I get to know the teachers and school officials
In the times that I've volunteered I've met many teachers and have had great discussions with the office admins. I've seen it to be a great opportunity to meet the teachers and school workers and get to know them and their lives. Seriously, in my last time in the school, I got to talk to my daughter's teacher about her ailing mom and I talked to the office ladies about church, underaged drinking and sex-ed. I didn't orchestrate this. I would have never called my daughter's teacher to talk about her mom. It just happened because I was there. IT IS RELATIONAL MINISTRY!
I got to see all my girls and say hi to them
It was a great connect with my girls in a non “home” environment. It was also great to see how they act away from home :)
I got to see some of my girls friends too
I was able to say “hi” to them and ask them how their day was. Reality is children love to be recognized and if I recognize them by saying a simple “hi”, there is a happiness that follows from that recognition.
I even got to talk real “ministry” by talking about “Orange” with one of the office volunteers
I found out while I was there that she used to be the Children's Director at a local church and we talked about the pros of switching to “Orange”. She may even come in to talk to the Family Ministry Department about good “storytelling” to elementary aged students. How cool is that???
So here’s reality. Not just as parents, but as MINISTERS, that IS part of our job. It was a win, win, win, WIN for me to be there. I may not have been in my “office” but I i was doing ministry.