Tuesday, February 21, 2006


This blog post proposes a city-wide experiment.

What would happen if...

  • The 7,100 churches in New York City prayed every week for the city's 1,200 public schools?
  • Volunteers from those churches served the schools as hall monitors, classroom assistants, tutors, event organizers, PTA delegates, or coaches?
  • Students from those churches were empowered to be salt and light on the campuses?
  • God-fearing staff members from those churches, whether teachers, aids, principals, or agency administrators, recognized their profession as a calling?

Dare we expect that test scores might improve and the $12 billion currently spent on the school system be managed better? The idea is doable. There are 7,100 evangelical, charismatic, and Pentecostal churches in the five boroughs. In contrast, New York's 1.1 million public school students are scattered across 1,200 public schools. That’s nearly a 7:1 ratio of churches to schools. Including the 1,000 private and/or parochial schools, there are still more than three churches for every school.

The challenge to discovering whether the experiment works is to monitor and coordinate it effectively. Any thoughts how?



At 2/21/2006 05:28:00 PM, Anonymous David Drake said...

Word. Over Christmas I read two books by Jonathan Kozol about the state of Education in Mott Haven and other areas in the South Bronx. It created a stiring in me. I am not sure what God's call is in the future, but there is something there for both my wife (a public school teacher) and me (a church planter)

At 2/22/2006 02:44:00 PM, Anonymous Katie Sweeting said...


I feel this could be an "Esther", or should I say "Nehemiah" moment for you. As I read your Tri-State Voice article I couldn't help but get excited. What a GREAT idea. And honestly, you are just the person to lead this charge. I feel compelled to tell you to go with this with all you have - I feel God will truly bless this effort beyond what you could
even imagine. My two older sons went through public schools in NYC - and though they were good schools, I know how necessary it is to pray for schools, teachers, administrators, and most of all, the kids. For churches to adopt public schools - I can only imagine what it would mean
not just for the schools, but for the churches. It is truly an idea
whose time has come.

Just know that I am praying for you, and cheering you on, from my
vantage point here at Concerts of Prayer.

In His Grip,

At 2/23/2006 06:46:00 PM, Anonymous Matt Stevens said...

Please go for it!
This is a no brainer. The 1. whatever million children in NYC are God's gift to us.
They are a harvest waiting to be harvested~

When God gets a hold of a heart it can do more in an instant than all the social, educational and government programs can in 10 years.
Starting with prayer will make the difference.

You might also take a look at

At 2/28/2006 11:33:00 AM, Blogger Rev. Hans Tokke said...

Prayer changes the world. But what can I do if I don't actually get inside the doors of my kid's school in Astoria. Prayer breaks walls, but the NY education system waters down any social action in this vein.

At 2/28/2006 12:11:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy Del Rio said...

To the extent the schools themselves slam the front door, my question is where are the side entrances or the back door? Is there a way to build a relationship with the school that can overcome their mistrust? For example, as a parent are there opportunitites to serve the PTA or volunteer for a school event? Do the sports teams need assistant coaches or the acting club need production assistance?

What are some other ways to initiate and nurture relationships with schools?

At 2/28/2006 12:15:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy Del Rio said...


Welcome! I'd love to hear more about your church plant.



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