pro-tin-lunch-20-7013.jpg Okay, I know that sounded really demanding. Also I know that school is almost out (two more days in my neck of the woods). However, this needs to be said. If allowed, every children’s pastor needs too be in the schools of the kids they serve. About two years ago I made a commitment to bring lunch to every 3-5th grader who was in small groups. It has been a challenge to bring lunch to 50+ kids in just 12 weeks. However, the investment pays off so big! Usually when having lunch with one of my kids, they invite 2 or 3 friends from their class to sit a the visitor table. At some schools, I actually get to sit at the classroom table. Since all the kids are curious about who I am, the kid I’m visiting explains that I am Mr. Kenny and the proceed to tell everyone about their church. How great is that?

I’ve heard Craig Jutilia of Saddleback (previously) say many times that it is in the relationship department where we’ll find our biggest wins (our secular competitors will usually beat us in the programming department). Hanging out a kid at lunch advances me forward light years in my relationship with that kid. In addition, I begin forming new relationships with all the friends, making it that much easier for the kids to invite their friends to church. This is huge.

Some schools don’t mind me hanging out for recess following lunch. I’ve had a blast taking on 70 school kids at a game of freeze tag. Trust me, the kid I visited was on cloud nine and definitely the talk of the school that day. What a great way to equip our kids to share with their friends.

My plan is to take this to the next level next year. I still plan to do lunch with my small groups kids, but I also intend to be a constant presence at the school closest to my church campus. Our church has a very good relationship to this school (several of the teachers and administration attend our church). My hope is to be this schools number 1 volunteer. As much as they’ll let me, I plan to be a lunch room monitor, class room helper, field trip chaperon… whatever they want. I can take one morning a week and give it to this school. It truly blesses the staff to see volunteers help and love on the kids. It’s also a great opportunity to get to know the kids I pastor and their friends. I don’t have to use this as an opportunity to push Cross Timbers. I don’t even need to mention it. Just being their makes a difference and when you make a difference, self-promotion isn’t necessary. I’ll let you know how this goes!