Peggy Sherman is the director of children’s ministry at Grace Harvest Church in Moses Lake. About 3 years ago, Peggy and her husband Doug felt the pull towards ministry in the local schools. Since there is not a school in their immediate vicinity, Tim Cloyd of Serve Moses Lake, suggested they consider partnering with Longview Elementary.
For Peggy, the desire to minister to students and kids has long been on her heart. Years ago she volunteered for the “Youth Senior Connection” tutoring program between ML United Methodist Church and Lakeview Terrace Elementary. As she learned more about how other churches were forming partnerships with schools, became inspired to see a similar ministry come to fruition within her own congregation.
The first and most important step, she states, was meeting with the school principal and asking what their particular need was. “It is important to approach with a servant’s heart and a readiness to serve in whatever way they need. Sometimes that means starting off with really small things; but with consistent presence and follow-through, trust is built and gives way to minister in larger ways.” Peggy describes that her vision would be to see an after-school tutoring program begin for the Longview students, but she is not afraid to take the time necessary to see the program be successful.
Currently, Peggy and the Grace Harvest team minister at Longview in the following ways:
Provide one-on-one assistance to students in the classroom
Receive referrals for families that are in need of clothing, coats, or other assistance
Stock supply of gloves and hats for the school to keep on hand for winter
Provide snacks for the teachers with words of encouragement
Support school fundraising events and collect Box-tops for education
Grace Harvest currently has 4 volunteers that go to the school individually a few times each week to be a helpful presence in the classrooms. Longview only has one male teacher, so a stronger male presence would be helpful. “The teachers are the unsung heroes, they put so much energy forth each day to take care of the needs of the kids as well as teach the required material, it is so important to find ways to support them. Even 30 minutes once per week would be a huge help. Another positive adult presence in the classroom is a breath of fresh air to teachers and students alike.”
If you’re questioning whether or not you are equipped to handle this type of ministry Peggy offers a few tips:
Evaluate your ability to be consistent and follow through for the long term. It takes time to build relationship with the schools and part of that is by proving yourself trustworthy. Make sure you have the time to commit to being a consistent presence.
Must have a heart for kids and be able to handle a little bit of noise and chaos.
Are you inspired by Grace Harvest’s partnership with Longview? If you think the Lord is leading you and your congregation to minister to one of our schools, we would wholeheartedly encourage you to take the first step with prayer. Tim Cloyd, Director of Serve Moses Lake, is happy to help you on this journey. Contact Tim by calling (509) 764-8276, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or just stop by the office at 422 W Third Ave in Moses Lake.