Transforming Schools and Communities Through Love
PE News recently posted a powerful testimonial of what God is doing through Love a School, an Assemblies of God initiative in New York State. Following are snippets of the exciting work that God is doing in hopes you’ll venture over to read the entire article.
What does it take for a church to transform its neighborhood or community? According to John Ginnan, an Assemblies of God Youth Alive U.S. Missions missionary, and his wife, Caity, it’s all wrapped up in three words: Love a School.
Ginnan says it doesn’t matter what size a church is, Love a School … begins with focused, ongoing prayer for a neighborhood school. “In Love a School, a church lifts up a school in prayer and offers to partner with the school as it can,” explains Ginnan. “This school-church relationship can encourage students to be campus missionaries to the school.” Ginnan explains that when students see the example of love the church community has toward the school community, it becomes a positive platform for students to live missional lives in their school. “That’s where the church becomes true advocates for students reaching students,” he says.
Part of Ginnan’s ministry is helping churches gain traction with local schools. He cites one outreach pastor … who started loving their church’s local school with simple gestures of love and kindness — bringing in baked goods for teachers, buying coffee for the staff, giving away coffee gift cards, and other small acts of thoughtfulness and love. Through one church’s offer to love a school, transformation is occurring. Community churches are working together, a school and the local churches have built a relationship of trust and support, and people in the community are welcoming church members into their homes, where relationships are built, additional needs discovered, and prayers are frequently offered and accepted.
“Love is not a strategy,” Ginnan says, “but it is transformational. And what better place to focus our love than where 98 percent of the people in a community are somehow connected — the local school.”