What to Expect

While many church–school partnerships flourish without a hitch, others find some bumps along the way. Maintaining realistic expectations can help. Below are some factors to keep in mind:

  • The workload of school administrators is often strenuous and stressful. It is important to enter into the partnership without unrealistic expectations of the responsiveness of principals and other administrators. Don't give up!
  • Schools and school districts can sometimes be highly bureaucratic organizations. Expect to work in this environment with patience and without judgment. The process for decision-making can sometimes be slow, but a long-term commitment can thrive in any environment.
  • Negative political dynamics can sometimes be at work inside the walls of schools between administration, teachers, auxiliary staff, parent groups and community groups. Expecting this possibility will help you to stay "above the fray."
  • In a culture where some people have negative associations with Christ's church, it should be expected that the good motives of the church could be called into question by some in the school community. Serving in love and remaining above reproach on all fronts will be the best defense against potential cynicism.
  • Ultimately, the frictions and the joys of people working with people to make good things happen for kids and their communities will be the norm. Always keep in mind that the church is there to serve the school's needs and priorities in love, and everything else will fall into place.