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BeUndivided’s 5 Core Principles Part 4—Humility
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” Mark 10:51 (NLT)
We call it the Jesus Question—“What do you want me to do for you?” We believe that this question is all that churches need to be able to serve schools for the long term in a way that is both strategic and impactful.
Embedded in the Jesus Question is a crucial recognition that principals, teachers, counselors and other school staff—the education professionals—don’t need to be told by outside organizations what their schools need. It is recognition that school administrators know what is best for their students, and they are already doing it the best they can with their limited resources. Embedded in the question is also one of the most important qualities that a church serving in the public sector can have: HUMILITY.
When SouthLake Church started planning for the first Day of Service at Roosevelt High School, we knew right away that God was calling us to do more. However, in our inexperience we didn’t ask administrators what more they would like to see us do to help—we were confident that mentoring was the right path—so we indicated to them that that was what we would like to do. We were surprised when one administrator suggested that we were jumping the gun. “Isn’t that a little like asking for marriage before the first date?” he said.
We truly believed that mentoring would be the right next step for the kids and the school, but what we didn’t realize was that more basic and urgent needs were being unmet at the school: many kids had inadequate food and clothing, and Roosevelt lacked the resources to provide them. So at the school’s request, we created and stocked an in-school clothes closet and food pantry, both of which have had great impact on the school’s ability to meet the needs of its students.
From that experience we learned our lesson: in humility, always keep coming back to the same question: “What do you want us to do for you?”
And what we have found is that when a church shows up to a school with a message that says, “We are here to serve the needs which are most important to you,” it sets the stage for amazing things to happen. Doors open and opportunities to serve multiply—kids become fed and clothed and tutored and mentored. The school environment improves. Community grows.
The fact is that if we in the church are honest with ourselves, we don’t really know “the answer” to America’s public education crisis. What we do know, however, is that kids matter—and we have a deep desire to support them. And that is more than enough.
“What do you want us to do for you?” Asked in humility, it’s a question that can open doors, tear down walls, and build up schools.
by Kristine Sommer