“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Jeremiah 29:7 (ESV)
One of the keys to growing a prevailing church is the ability to effectively serve and partner with your local school system. Led by Senior Pastor Derwin Gray, few churches do this as effectively as Transformation Church in Indian Land, SC just outside of Charlotte.
If you are a regular reader of this site then you know that Transformation is one of my favorite churches. I also think Pastor Derwin is America’s leading voice on multi-cultural, multi-generational ministry. When you watch the short video above, you will understand why I feel this way.
You will also notice the following 18 Practices Of Effective Churches Who Partner With Their Local Schools which I personally learned from the video:
- Effective Churches Make Serving Local Schools A Priority – Pastor Derwin and his team went to the schools. They did not wait for the schools to come to them.
- Effective Churches View Serving Schools As Part Of Their Mission – As Executive Pastor Paul Allen pointed out, the leadership felt that as a multi-cultural church, they were strategically placed near a school represented by 32 different countries.
- Effective Churches Value Personal Relationships With School Leadership – Transformation took the time to develop relationships with and publicly recognize the contributions of Principal David McDonald of Indian Land Middle School and Assistant Principal Steven Puckett of Indian Land Elementary School.
- Effective Churches Celebrate The Achievements Of Their Local Schools – Pastor Paul was quick to note that Principle McDonald was recently named South Carolina’s Middle School Principal Of The Year and gave the church an opportunity to honor him as well.
- Effective Churches Know The Needs Of Their Local Schools - Pastor Paul made the congregation aware of the school’s need for a Kindle Lab.
- Effective Churches Support Local School Programs – Transformation is making a long-term commitment to the I Lead Program, a 3-year male leadership initiative.
- Effective Churches Are Deeply Invested In Their Local Schools – To effectively serve local schools, you must be involved in multiple initiatives, not just one-time events. Transformation has served in School Staff Appreciation, Lunch Buddies, and tutoring programs among others.
- Effective Churches Believe In Their Local Schools – Pastor Paul said, “We believe in what God is doing in our Indian Land School System.” Pastor Derwin later added in his first words, “We believe in your guys.”
- Effective Churches Are Extravagantly Generous To Their Local Schools - Because of the generosity of those who attend Transformation, each school was presented checks for $10,000. WOW!!!!! In addition, I was impressed with the genuine embraces and prolonged applause that followed.
- Effective Churches Are Genuinely Excited About Their Local Schools – “We are excited about what God is doing in our school system” are not just words. Transformation demonstrates this by their actions.
- Effective Churches Publicly Pray For The Individual Schools In Their Area and Its Leaders
- The Success Of Effective Churches Is Directly Tied To The Success Of Their Local Schools – Much like the words of Jeremiah 29:7 written above, Pastor Derwin clearly communicates that “If our community doesn’t get better because Transformation Church exists, then we have failed.”
- Effective Churches Think Long-Term – The leadership of Transformation Church desires to have a long-term relationship with their local schools. As Pastor Derwin acknowledged, “We look forward to the continued relationship.”
- Effective Churches Are Thankful For Their Local Schools – Pastor Derwin prayed, “We thank You (Jesus) for these men, the teachers, and the students they represent.”
- Effective Churches Believe Local Schools Are A Blessing – Many church leaders and Christian parents mistakenly do not value the public school system. As Pastor Derwin prayed, “We ask You to bless them to continue to be a blessing.”
- Effective Churches Believe In The Next Generation – Pastor Derwin has a great vision for the next generation. “We believe the students, boys and girls, will one day grow up to be men and women that change this world.”
- Effective Churches Count It As A Privilege To Partner With Local Schools – “We thank you for the honor and privilege to be able to partner and be in relationship with the Indian Land schools.”
- Most Of All, Effective Churches Who Partner With Their Local Schools Are Excited About Jesus – I love how Pastor Derwin closed, “Jesus, You continue to take our breath away.” Pastors and church leaders, when is the last time Jesus took your breath away?
You can now see why Transformation Church is one of my favorite churches. Pastors and church leaders, after watching this video, what is one thing you can do TODAY to better serve your local school system?
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