I grew up largely in a Christian bubble. Most of my childhood and even teenage years were spent almost exclusively around other believers. In many ways, I’m incredibly thankful for that. The other part of me knows that that’s not what Jesus calls us to. He doesn’t call us to stay comfortable, and be surrounded by other believers all the time. Yes, community is very important. But being around people who are not like us – people who think differently, look differently and even act differently – is important. It’s important for us to grow our own faith but it’s also an awesome way for us to be a Light in this dark world.

If you have school-aged kids, you have an incredible opportunity and responsibility to make an impact for Jesus in your kids’ school.

In some situations, you won’t be able to be as open, but all of us can, and should, be intentional about being the hands and feet of Jesus. And our kids’ schools is an awesome place for that.

My oldest is in elementary school and she is at a public school for the first time. The beginning of the year was a strange time for all of us. I was trying to figure out how to get involved, how to get to know the teachers and staff, and how to use my gifts to serve.

Here are a few ways that you can make an impact for Jesus:

#1: Pray for your schools, teachers, staff, students, families.

When I have a few extra minutes, I go the “long way” into town and pass by our primary and elementary schools. I take that time to pray intentionally for the staff and students at our schools.

#2: Volunteer

Schools are always looking for people to volunteer with different events, in the classrooms, or with the PTA/PTO. I know the pandemic prevented volunteering in the schools, but I guarantee they need it now more than ever.

I didn’t want to add another thing to my plate. I didn’t want to put myself out there and go to things knowing no one. But I felt the Lord leading me to get involved. For me, the PTO at my daughter’s school is my tool. It’s a way I can use my gifts, serve and connect others who I’d otherwise never meet.

I know volunteering for parents who work outside the home is often hard. You can sign up to bring a snack for teacher appreciation week, or send money for new playground balls.

#3: Get to know the staff

Part of getting involved and volunteering is getting to know the staff. Introduce yourself (this one is strangely hard for me!). Ask them questions about themselves. You might be the only example of Jesus they encounter that day. Be a kind, full of grace, smile-on-your-face friend to the teachers and staff.

These are only three, out of dozens of ways, that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus in our school system. They’re clearly not earth-shattering tips, but we have an incredible opportunity to be like Jesus by loving on our kids’ caregivers. And when we love like Jesus, no matter where we are, lives will be changed.