West Dallas Community School

Shepherd Overview

Shepherd a Child

Program Overview

Teaching others cannot be done solely through classroom situation. It entails the imparting of a life–the same in-depth transmission that occurred between Paul and Timothy.” – Walter A. Henrichsen, Disciples are Made Not Born

Shepherd a Child is a mentoring program that engages an individual or family in a one-on-one relationship with a West Dallas Community School student to directly impact their life. Shepherds share their own lives, encourage students in their gifts, and help direct them toward a loving relationship with Jesus Christ. The role of the Shepherd is to be a Godly influence in modeling and exposing students to a life that is obedient to God.

Shepherds commit to spending time, once per month, on a face-to-face basis with a student for an academic year.  Activities should be simple and inexpensive–emphasizing the relationship more than the activity itself.

“Shepherding has changed my entire family as we have made a personal connection to real people, God’s children, in West Dallas. Our “differences” have faded in importance, as we have gotten to know the Johnson children.  Although I thought we would be the Shepherds in the relationship, it turns out they are shepherding and loving on us in return!  We can’t imagine not having them in our lives.”
– Wes Boyd, WDCS Shepherd

Roles and Responsibilities

Shepherds

  • Commit to the Shepherd a Child program for AT LEAST one academic year
  • Share your life with the student by spending time with them in a relaxed atmosphere
  • Encourage your student in his/her gifts
  • Help direct him/her toward a loving relationship with Jesus Christ
  • Be a Godly, positive influence who exposes the student to a life that is obedient to God
  • Meet and develop a relationship with the parent/guardian of the child
  • Commit to pray regularly for this child
  • Send monthly report to the Volunteer Director (servien@wdcschool.org) about your contact with your student (please include: date of meeting, location, activity, time spent and any comments or concerns you would like us to know)

Students

  • Remain receptive and open to having a Shepherd
  • Present a proper respectful attitude toward Shepherd
  • Be obedient to the authority of the Shepherd

Parents/Guardians

  • Sign permission form for the Shepherd a Child program
  • Remain informed of each contact with the shepherd in advance
  • Communicate with Shepherd and encourage the relationship
  • Communicate and joys or concerns with the Volunteer Coordinator

West Dallas Community School

  • Provide initial and on-going orientation/training for the Shepherd
  • Support the Shepherd, child and parent with ideas, resources and intervention, where necessary
  • Offer activity ideas for group and community events to attend
  • Communicate with the Shepherd about interactions with the student via monthly reports, phone and face-to-face contact.
  • Communicate with student about interactions with Shepherd.

Shepherd Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s

  • Make every effort to spend time with your child each month
  • Ask permission from parent/guardian before taking the child to an activity. It is best to ask the parent/guardian first before speaking to the student about the activity
  • Attend chapel and special programs and have lunch with their student. Lunches for the students are provided by the school and you may just sit and visit, bring your own brown bag lunch or notify the school two days before in order to purchase a school lunch.
  • Stay in public places

Don’t

  • Do not give money to your student or buy them expensive presents
  • Do not allow students to be in your home.
  • Do not assume a need-based posture. In some cases, it is easy to be consumed by the need of a family, but mentors must see their role as unlocking the potential of the family rather than providing aid.
  • Do not be one on one with your student. There needs to be at least two adults and two students at all times.