Interested in having a school partnership but are unsure where to start? From the experience I have gained in putting together school partnerships, I have come up with something called the the ABC’s of School Partnership. Last week, we talked about point A to C. Assess the situation – take the time to learn about the school and community. Build a Strategic Plan – base plans around physical, academic and emotional needs. Create an Atmosphere of Trust – be FOR the professionals running the school.
The next step is to Deliver on your promises. We cannot over promise and under deliver. Anything you say you are going to do, you simply need to go through with it – and with excellence! Through consistency on deliverables, trust is strengthened between the school and the church.
Everything we do in a school partnership is trial and error. Because of this it is a essential to Evaluate. Get feedback from those volunteering through your church, as well as the main contacts at the school. Figure out the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth in the future. Ask if there is anything that threatens damaging the positive relationship your church is trying to develop.
The church needs to then Follow Up. Following up is what builds that bridge of relationship between the church and the school. Summer time is not a chance to “take a break,” it is a time to evaluate and improve how your church can be better serving the school with which you are partnered.
Lastly, we need to Generate a two way partnership. This is key. When your church first starts to serve a school, it is a one way relationship. Over time, it is important that both parties experience the benefit of the partnership.
By following these “ABC’s” of positive partnership, we can see the transformation of lives – children, parents, and those in the neighborhoods. Remember that the goal of our service is to transformed lives. Not only those in the school, but those living in the neighborhoods surrounding the school will stand up and take notice when we are serving as part of the community. We are done with “serve and run”. We are serving and staying in relationship with the community. Let’s raise the bar of service and have a long term relational investment to the people that God has placed just outside our door, who have not yet encountered God’s love, compassion, and grace.
Donna Trumbo; Director of Compassion and Outreach at Bayside Church of South Sacramento.
To learn more about Donna and other people who are making a difference in their communities check out Convergence.World