Education Networking

LCMS Black Ministry


Through Education Networking, Black Ministry Services offers prayer, support and consultation. In cooperation with LCMS School Ministry, we are here to:

  • Support and strengthen school ministries
  • Recommend and assist in the accreditation process
  • Develop and/or conduct in-service training opportunities
  • Make called worker referrals and community witness recommendations
  • Provide scholarship assistance to children through “Help the Children Come”
  • Provide assistance to faculty and staff in attending district school ministry conferences and training
  • Identify leaders for professional development in their local school setting
  • Advocate for reaching unchurched school families and assist in the implementation of Bible studies and worship services on the school site.

 

Schools — Witness
Schools as evangelistic arms of the congregations — Witness
We Value Diversity

The church of Jesus Christ is poised to witness to the world the call to reconciliation to God and between human beings. If the kingdom of God is not segregated, why on earth is the church?

Typically, the urban Lutheran schools are more ethnically diverse than the sponsoring congregations. Inner-city schools tend to be partially diverse or monoethnic.

Our Lord Jesus prayed in John 17 to provide hope and comfort to those tasked with the responsibility of proclaiming eternal life to all people (John 17:2).

Jesus prayed for Himself: “Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you … Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:1-5).

Jesus prayed for His disciples: “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name — the name you gave me — so that they may be one as we are one …Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:6-19).

Jesus prayed for all believers: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you … May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:17-23).

What is multi-cultural school ministry? It is a culturally, racially and economically diverse education setting achieved by circumstance or design for Christian unity and the sake of the Gospel.

We pray for and facilitate meaningful change in our hearts and methods for achieving diversity wherever possible. With God nothing is impossible; in Christ all things are possible.

 

Families — Mercy
We assist families — Mercy

Challenges:

Diversity initiatives require setting aside scholarship assistance for families, placing additional burdens on the school. 

Funding scholarships can entice non-minority students to help preserve a balance of culture and race in a school or to attract high academic achievers. This is not easily done or seen as a priority emphasis.

We identify servant leadership opportunities in the community:  

  • Match gifts
  • Donate food and clothing
  • Volunteers for mentoring, homework help programs, peer mentors, grandparents
  • Adopt families

We Facilitate Outreach

Teach Youth Faith Sharing:

Emerging effort still in its gestating stage. To creatively identify a means to encourage others how to provide opportunities for witness by the school to its community, teacher-family and student peer, either through direct faith sharing or servant leadership activities.

It is through a partnership with Cross Pollination Ministries called “Cross Talk” where adolescent youth are trained through 30-minute phone conversation with their peers and a facilitator to ask questions like:

Do you believe in God? Do good people go to heaven? Who is a good person? Who is Jesus Christ? One person asks the questions, the other responds.

The trainer provides crib sheets to follow along the conversations with appropriate replies to those who resist biblical knowledge and persuasion by making assertions toward relativism, agnosticism, atheism or a non-Christian belief by saying, “Hmm, that’s interesting.” It will assuage conflict and hurt feelings.

School-to-School and School-to-Neighborhood:

A variation on the phone conversations once they’ve mastered routines actually has the youth videotaped while role playing. Participants are shown how to pray the Psalms, solicit prayer requests and prayer walk, often engaging residents of the community.

This has achieved promising results in a pilot program at two St. Louis schools.  We’ve matched a predominantly white middle school with a black one to do canvassing together.  We invited a local rap artist who does Christian witnessing in his routines to record a video with both school children as extras. The teens and parents love it. No follow-up just yet.

School to Congregation: 

As the school either by itself or in cooperation with another congregation creates servant leadership opportunities for the students and faculty, so the community gets to see the hands and feet, the gifts of God’s people in compassionate activities to draw them closer to the Christian community.

Challenges in the blessings:

  • Overcoming the hesitancy to witness to the faith in a direct way, as some believers shy away from “in your face” tactics.
  • Disconnect from a local congregation creates a culture of distance from evangelistic behavior and practice. As each entity becomes a specialized ministry, there is no understanding of shared work or overlap of responsibility to witness or even to make follow-up calls connecting people to the congregation or worship visitors to the school.
  • Resistance of the faculty, parents and students because of the pressure to “get down to  school business” view that puts evangelist activity in an extracurricular box, so Lutheran  education is all about the reading, math, science and music, even the technological objective principles (or head knowledge) and less about practical aspects. Evangelistic activity is falsely perceived as an institutional responsibility, rather than an individual one.  It’s a function of the congregational program, not a school ministry obligation.
  • Program Scheduling and Funding place additional burdens on already taxed administrators and faculty.

 

Life Together
We value, envision and facilitate — Life Together

Reaching unchurched school families through occasional fellowship activities with meals, prayer, praise and Bible study offerings capitalizes the school’s access and influence to touching lives with the Gospel on people who see the school as home and the only connection with the Lord Jesus.

The problem is we do not spend sufficient time with these families to make spiritual connections, and falsely assume they will be reached indirectly. Informal worshiping opportunities are nonthreatening ways families connect with each other; they form stronger bonds and share faith in small groups.

The concept borrows from the early church model in Acts 2.

Via occasional worshiping venues at our Lutheran Schools for unchurched families, we will facilitate spiritual nurture and community. Bonds are already formed, but the system is fragile because of the struggles they have had to keep family and finances together.

What’s more, they face hardships to keep up the tuition payments in these tough times, and the parents have shown faith in the principal and his/her staff.  The school can capitalize on that God-given blessing.

Acts 2:42-47

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.

All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.

They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

 

 

 

 

About Dr. Rosa Young
About Dr. Rosa Young

 

Rosa Young

Rosa Young was born on May 14, 1874, in Rosebud, Ala., the daughter of a black Methodist circuit rider. Nonetheless, she would write, “I was born and reared in gross darkness, wholly ignorant of the true meaning of the saving Gospel contained in the Holy Bible.”

What she meant was she did not know that Jesus had done all that is necessary for her salvation.

“I did not know that I could not read the Bible and pray enough to win heaven.” But she was also able to say that “the almighty God, for Christ’s sake, in a mysterious way, prepared and led me and a host of others out of the gross darkness which hung like a dense fog over our souls into the marvelous light of His salvation.”

After a hard start, Rosa graduated from Payne University in Selma, Ala., in 1909. She was 19 and had to sit through her valedictorian speech; she worked so hard she had a breakdown. Her speech stressed the obligation of service:

“ ‘He that is greatest among you shall be your servant,’ is the language of the Great Teacher. To serve is regarded as a divine privilege as well as a duty by every right-minded man.”

These were not empty words. She would live her life on the principle that she expressed in her speech. After several years as a teacher in neighboring towns, Rosa developed a longing to open her own school.

As she would later phrase it, “All good things come from God, even our good desires.” To her thinking, God gave her that desire and helped her fulfill it.

Rosa opened a private school with seven black students. In three terms, it had grown to 215 students, but she could not finance it.

Having exhausted every contact she knew in her effort to get funding, she went home and prayed and prayed and prayed.

Then she wrote to the famed African-American educator Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute. Did he know anyone else she could contact?

Booker T. Washington wrote back. And, said Rosa, “In this letter he told me he was unable to help me in the least, but he would advise me to write to the Board of Colored Missions of the Lutheran Church. He said they were doing more for the colored race than any other denomination he knew of. He liked them because of the religious training which they were giving the colored people.”

Rosa applied to the Lutheran church for help. The Missouri Synod sent Pastor Nils Bakke to examine the situation. Help was forthcoming through Bakke, and Rosa joined the Lutheran church.

Thanks to the Lutherans and Rosa’s own unflagging efforts, Alabama had 30 rural schools. She also founded a high school and a junior college in Selma (the Alabama Lutheran Academy), on whose faculty she served. Its purpose was to prepare young women to teach in Christian day schools.

Rosa worked tirelessly most of her 96 years, and she even mortgaged her property to keep the work alive. She died in 1970.

Learn about 'The First Rosa'

 

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