For the last few weeks I have been wondering how best to use the opportunity of being a mum at the school gate to share the love of Jesus. I don’t want to be a weird mum who stands in the playground and preaches, but I also don’t want people to be completely unaware of my faith either. It is a very difficult balance, but I am determined not to let this opportunity pass me by.
I asked the lovely Captivated mums their advice and ideas on how to do this, as I know many of them have school age children and have walked this road before me. The collective advice was to be normal, make friends and let things grow from there. As you would in any other situation, just being there for people, showing you care and taking an interest in their lives can make a huge difference, and it is how true friendships are formed and trust developed.
This was great advice, and I have already been praying for opportunities and boldness to get to know the other mums and dads a bit better. This is easy with some and harder with others, but I will persevere!
As well as doing this I am planning to do some other things along the way to show love and demonstrate my faith to the parents and staff at the school. Here are some of my ideas, and I hope you will share yours with me too!
- Commit to praying for your child’s teacher and their class and let them know. It is an amazing blessing to pray for someone, and even those who don’t share your faith will be complemented that you have taken the time to think of them. As my son goes to a Catholic Primary School this wasn’t such a shock when I emailed his two class teachers to let them know I would be praying for them and the class. I also asked them to send any prayer points over the year, whether personal or for the class in general, and one of them did! I might follow this up with a card at each half term to remind them I have been praying.
- Setting up a parents prayer group. Someone on Captivated mentioned doing this and I think its a great idea! Not only can you then reach out and forge relationships with other Christian parents, but you can cover the whole school in prayer. I have heard of these groups blessing teachers on parents evening with meals and loving on the staff too, so I have enquired about whether there is one or if I can be involved in setting one up. Again, this is probably a bigger mission opportunity in a non-faith based school.
- End of Half Term Party. My son has already been inviting every member of his class round to his house for tea, and with us living a bit further from the school than I would like this makes it difficult. But I came up with the idea of maybe hosting an end of half term party, where he can invite a few friends for tea on the last day of half term. That way, he gets to play with his new school friends and I get to properly meet some of the mums and dads.
- Suggest a class whats app group. Some parents in Captivated mentioned that they have a class whats app group where they can share reminders and invitations with other parents. I am not sure whether to suggest this yet, but it is definitely an option to build community amongst the parents.
What has worked for you at the school gate?