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McNamara School Adoption

Frequently Asked Questions

Why adopt a school?  We feel that the main deficiency in our ministry as a church is that we do not offer many opportunities for our members to minister outside the four walls of the church.  There are many ways churches reach outside their own walls, and all of them are worthy.  But partnering with a school offers us the opportunity to work alongside people who are already trained and motivated to change lives: public school teachers and administrators.  These men and women work daily to shape the lives of children still in the crucial developmental stages of their lives.  They need help from members of their community.  In addition, working with teachers and students in a local public school gives us an opportunity to minister to people who may never otherwise have any contact with our church.

Why are we adopting McNamara Elementary?  Aren't there schools which are closer to WBC?  We wanted to adopt an elementary school that was near our church and which had serious needs.  We considered all the elementary schools in our area, and our pastor personally contacted three.  Some area schools are relatively healthy.  Although these schools are happy for community involvement, we wanted to focus on schools where the need was great.  At least one area school is already being adopted by another local church.  McNamara is within five minutes of our church, the need for community involvement is great, and the principal there was excited about the idea of a partnership with WBC.

Most of our potential mentors speak only English.  Will this be a problem?  Principal Tiffany Chenier at McNamara says that although many parents of her children are Spanish speakers, the children tend to speak English.  In fact, often the children serve as interpreters for their parents!

I thought it was illegal to mix church and state.  Will we run into legal problems with trying to do ministry on a public school campus?  We will be partnering with McNamara's faculty and administration, helping them to accomplish their mission to educate children.  We will be doing it unashamedly in the name of Jesus Christ, but even so, there is nothing illegal about mentoring students, improving the campus, praying for students and teachers, or any of the other ministries that will naturally evolve from our involvement at McNamara.

Many people either don't have the time or the inclination to mentor elementary-age kids.  Won't this ministry appeal to a very small segment of our membership?  Many Westbury members do have schedules that would allow them to serve as mentors, including retirees, stay-at-home moms, college students, as well as professionals whose companies give them time off for volunteering.  Other members of WBC will probably be able to adjust their schedules to serve as mentors, as well.  But while mentoring is the centerpiece of this effort, there will be many other opportunities (just see the "How Can I Help?" sections).  We hope that this effort is more than just a partnership with a local school; we want it to be the beginning of a new emphasis on ministry outside the walls of WBC.  We envision a day when every member of Westbury Baptist experiences real worship each Sunday, real community in small group Bible study, and is involved in a real, life-changing ministry...we envision a day when Westbury is known as a church that impacts Southwest Houston and the world for Christ.  We see this school adoption as the start of that journey.