I know we’re in the dog days of summer, but the start of the school year is already fast-approaching. Hard to believe! The Targets and Wal-Marts of the world already have their school supply displays out and school administrators are working hard to prepare for the return of their teachers and students. How has this much time passed already?!
My heart goes out to both administrators and teachers because of the magnitude of the challenge they face in educating a new generation of students. I was fortunate to go on a guided fishing trip recently in Florida and our guide happened to be a long-tenured math teacher (I don’t recall any of my math teachers being that cool). It was so interesting to hear him talk about the challenges he faces in the classroom, from teacher and supplies shortages to unruly and disruptive parents. Our current cultural climate makes teaching and extraordinarily difficult task! Of course, the same could be said about the students, who face a digital reality that previous generations never imagined. While the digital age brings some privileges (if I had only had google when trying to write a paper about horses in 3rd grade…), the challenges represented by screens and the content they make accessible is nothing short of overwhelming for students, parents and teachers alike. Any parent or teacher will be quick to tell you that I’ve only skimmed the surface of what they are facing.
This kind of environment calls out desperately for the church to be the Church. If ever there was a time and circumstance to surround our community, surely this is it! We have talked for most of the year about how critical it is for followers of Jesus to take seriously his command to love God and love our neighbor. It is certainly time for us to collectively embody that calling, and Booth Middle School represents just such an opportunity. Why would we support Booth right now? Not only because of the challenges they face, but because they’re literally in our backyard! If we don’t care for the children and families in our own backyard, then who will? They are our responsibility and our calling as a church, and I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities that will come into view as we become the hands and feet of Jesus in our community.
This partnership journey begins sooner than you may think. Booth is hosting Camp Warrior from July 19-21 for its newest students. It’s a kind of orientation and introduction that will accelerate the students’ ability to onboard when school begins in earnest. After talking with their leadership, we jumped at the chance to help the school with such an important event (our Student Ministry Director – Miles Barnes – led the way and opened the door to this opportunity). We’re helping with their registration, prizes for the kids when they open their lockers for the first time, team building activities and helping to feed lunch to their staff.
The purpose is clear and simple: we want to be the best possible neighbors to the Booth community. We need YOU to help us make that happen (click here to sign up to help). Even if you aren’t available for Camp Warrior, you’re going to hear about a series of opportunities to love our neighbors to the east over the next month. I know that those who respond will be blessed by the chance to make the students’ lives a little brighter and the teachers’ job a little easier
It’s time for us to be the church, and I can’t wait to see how we respond together!