How Children’s Ministers Can Get God Back in the Schools

Partner with schoolsToday, I asked Ingid Dedecker, the director of Partner With Schools, to write a post on how children’s ministers can get God back in our schools with this effective outreach tool.


Get God back into Public Schools !

by Ingrid Dedecker

Tag.  You’re it.  A game played every day in school yards.  I wish finding christians who are willing to share the Good News in public elementary schools were this easy.  Yet it’s not only permitted but even welcomed by schools.  And three quarters of the students usually get saved.  The girl in the picture up front asked with wide and hopeful eyes: “ Is it really true that God will forgive me of all the bad things I have done?”

Amazing Opportunity to reach your Neighborhood.  Research shows that kids can reach their parents much better than pastors can.  Showing the love of God to students often brings the rest of the family to church.  It’s only one hour per week for eight weeks  per semester, with amazing results.  Elementary School students are still open to the love of God.  Let’s reach them before they become troubled teens.  85% of people who get saved find God between the age of 5 -14.

Partner kids

Voluntary After-School programs for which parents sign a permission form are within the legal framework of the school.  A school  which has any other activities such as after-school enrichment programs must allow a Bible club as well.  This even holds true for flyers and announcements as all clubs have to be treated equally.

Sixteen Federal Agencies call upon Faith-based organizations!  All children who attend the local church also attend the local school.  Parents of those children are deeply connected to both institutions.  What other local organization has such a direct link to the school.  That is why the Department of Education, The White House, via it’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and 14 other Federal Agencies promote student achievement by connecting schools and community-based organizations, both secular and faith-based.

Fourteen Churches, on average exist for each school and yet it’s difficult to find churches willing to get involved in their local school.  No need to fear the ACLU.  The ACLU usually focuses on the establishment clause of the First Amendment which makes sure that religion is not officially established in schools.  That’s why the ACLU often challenges official prayer or religious symbols in schools.  However The ACLU has never taken a school to court over a Bible Club, and due to numerous recent lawsuits won by students whose schools denied clubs, an increasing number of principals are now focusing on their student’s right to Free Speech.   In prior decades schools focused almost exclusively on upholding the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause but in recent years the shift to also  uphold the First Amendment’s  Free Speech Clause has brought much balance to the issue of  Church/State Separation.  Yes, schools still don’t endorse religion but they now also enforce student’s rights to practice religion in schools.

The ACLU of Tennessee,  just in March 2014,  decided to actually defend a student who was forced by teachers to stop reading the Bible in an After School program.  In the letter sent to the school, the ACLU requests that the school train it’s teachers on religious freedom rights while at the same time  not imposing religions on students.  Hedy Weinberg, executive director  for the ACLU’s Tennessee branch, additionally said in a statement that the goal of their letter was to: clarify how constitutionally-guaranteed religious freedoms work.

Neither School Administrators nor Church Administrators are fully aware of the recent case law opening up schools to churches.  That’s why it’s important to gently inform schools that over 7000 elementary schools nationwide have Bible Clubs in schools;  and many more Middle and High Schools.

Partner with Schools provides pro bono help to churches in getting into their local schools.  We set up partnerships between local schools and local churches and provide teacher’s training and ongoing coaching to keep the church’s school outreach ministry motivated.   You will find more information at:   A school principal from Akron City Schools in Ohio said: “ Thank you for impacting our school so much for the las two years.  We are so glad you’re here!”

Blessing not only the students but also to the school.   Schools are mandated to teach character education.  Since the Bible is full of character education we might as well help schools fulfill that mandate.  Character Counts is one of the two primary character education programs.  Since schools recognize that program we incorporate Character Counts into our curriculum.  It takes up less than 10 minutes of the class and the rest of the class focuses on faith-based character education via Bible teaching, fun activities, songs, and memory verses.

IngridIngrid DeDecker, Director of Partner with Schools, is available for meetings and church presentations and can be reached at: 330.309.5333 or


Prayer Sponsors For Children

School has started, and children are entering a spiritual war zone. They need prayer. That’s why having a prayer sponsor for each child in your ministry is essential. Here’s a few ideas on how to have prayer sponsors.

Advertise in the congregation. Let the members of the congregation know that they are committing not only to praying for a child every day, but to connecting with that child at least once a month. They should also send the child a birthday card and thinking of you postcards occasionally. Let the sponsors know they are committing to this for one year.

Launch the Program with a Special Day. You could have a special banquet where the prayer sponsors will sit with the children they’re praying for. Or you could have a special children’s anointing service and have each prayer sponsor pray for his or her child. Free plans for a children’s anointing service can be downloaded at this link.

Give Information. Prayer sponsors should be given information about the child they are praying for including age, grade, school, parent’s names, address, email, and phone number.

Have a list of suggestions on what to pray for. You could put these suggestions on a bookmark they can place in their Bibles. Make the bookmarks out of card stock paper. Here’s a list you could use.

  • School
  • Family
  • Health
  • Activities
  • Relationship with God

An Opportunity to Give. You can also use this as a way to raise funds for children’s ministry. Give the sponsors enough offering envelopes for the year and suggest they give a certain amount of money to the children’s ministry once a month in the name of the child they are sponsoring. If there are any trips or special events that cost money, the money they give will go toward the child they’re sponsoring.

Invite prayer sponsors to children’s ministry events, and let them know what’s going on in children’s ministry in your church.

The prayer sponsor program can be one of the most effective programs in your children’s ministry. Prayer changes things.

Take Your Faith Back to School by Pat Holland

A friend of mine, Pat Holland, a children’s ministry evangelist and consultant, wrote a blog post with a Children’s Church lesson and skit that she gave me permission to share.

Take Your Faith Back to School

by Pat Holland

Use this as a devotion or a  quick skit that uses 3 actors. (I rewrote it for actors and the teacher to use in class.) Let the actors use their personalities to jazz it up.

Backpack? Check!

Notebooks? Check!

64 Pencils? Really? 64? Reluctantly…Check!

Faith? What is faith doing on my “Back to School Supply List” ?

So just why do I need to take “faith” to school with me?

Three reasons you need to take your faith with you.

1. Faith isn’t a church thing.

2. Faith is trusting God to be with you and help you in every area of your life—home, school and even church.

3. Faith connects us with God’s strength, ability and His plan for your life.

1. To remind you that Jesus is with you and wants to help you in school.

2. To remind you to ask Him for help.

3. To inspire you to do your best.

4. To remind you that this really is going to be a great year.

5. To share with your friends. Ron Hutchcraft always told his kids as they left for school each morning, “Go MAD.” They knew he was saying, “Go Make A Difference.” You can make your school, your class a better place, if you take your faith in Christ with you!

I hope your school year is off to a great start. I pray that you’ll learn lots of new things. I remember what school was like and I remember there are challenges that come with it. So take your faith with you- don’t leave home without it.


Faith Back to School Skit

If you choose to use this devotion as a skit you will need 3 kids or 3 puppets. Child number 1 has the list and is looking inside the backpack, the other 2 have the back pack on their backs ready for school.

Child 2: Would you hurry? I want to see if Zac is at the bus stop!

Child 3:  You know Zac is always late!

Child 1: My teacher said, I had to have all my supplies there no later than today, so let me check my list one more time. Backpack? Check! Notebooks? Check! 64 Pencils? Really? 64? (Reluctantly) OK! Faith?

Child 2: What is faith doing on your “Back to School Supply List” ?

Child 1: My mom put it there to remind me that taking my faith to school is just as important as taking all the supplies on my list.

Child 2: Really? Why do you need to take “faith” to school? Isn’t that a church thing?

Child 3: No. Faith is trusting God to be with you and help you in every area of your life—home and school. Church is just a place where we learn about faith.

Child 1: Faith turns on the faucet of God’s strength in my life. He helps me with school. When I take my faith to school, it reminds me to ask Him to help me.

Child 3: Taking my faith to school make me want to do my best.

Child 1: Taking my faith to school reminds me that this really is going to be a great year.

Child 2: And do I need to remind you, we’re going to be late if we don’t run! (All run off the stage.)

Teacher: I hope your school year is off to a great start. I pray that you’ll learn lots of new things. I remember what school was like and I remember there are challenges that come with it.  That’s why you need your faith, but there’s one more reason that they didn’t mention. Take your faith to school and share it. Ron Hutchcraft always told his kids as they left for school each morning, “Go MAD.” They knew he was saying, “Go Make A Difference.”  You can make your school, your class a better place, if you take your faith in Christ with you! So take your faith with you- don’t leave home without it.

For more informative blog posts written by Pat Holland and information about her ministry, Let Us Teach Kids, click this link.