"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27
"He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way." Psalm 25:9
Orphans are so significant to the heart of God, and that which concerns the heart of God should concern the body of Christ. Communities of faith should always begin any work by listening to God speak through prayer, Scripture, and other believers (John 10:27; Ps. 25:9).
As your church waits on God, you may begin to see a passion for adoption ministry ignite in the hearts of one or more people. The role of the pastor may be simply to affirm their calling and offer support and guidance, as well as to point them to resources. Continue to lean on God's guidance and support throughout the life of the ministry.
"It is better to obey than to sacrifice." I Samuel 15:22
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22
The church must respond to God’s call to care for orphans in some way (Jas. 1:27). Do not be overwhelmed to the point of doing nothing; start with the little things that God has put in front of your church. No one person or ministry can do it all; God designed us as “one body with many parts.” Remember, do not fear— He is faithful.
The role of the pastor is not necessarily to do the work of the ministry, but to equip and encourage those who sense that adoption ministry is their divine calling. This may come in different forms, such as teaching on God's heart for orphans or a simple confirmation of someone's idea. Every person with a passion to serve Christ needs a spiritual blessing from a ministry champion who will say, "Yes, God is calling you to this work. It is important."
"Wise planning will watch over you, Understanding will keep you safe." Proverbs 2:11
"Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3
Whether it's orphan care or adoption ministry, an important step is taking the time to assess your church needs as well as your resources as a church community. With adequate planning and materials, such as this toolkit and your own creativity, the team that God raises up will be unhindered as it moves forward.
The biggest challenge of any new ministry is leadership, and it's critical that no one person carries the entire burden of the adoption ministry. If you discover that only one person feels called to the ministry, then encourage him or her to continue to pray for an entire team to carry out the program - three or more who can carry the vision and the responsibility for turning it into reality.
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these." John 14:12
We serve a God who is also in the business of miracles, and you can expect to experience Him as you join Him in His work with the Fatherless. We look forward to partnering with you in answering God's call to care for those children without power and hope--the fatherless.
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power at work in us, to Him be the glory" (Eph 3:20).
A letter for you from Steven Curtis Chapman and Scott Hasenbalg
We serve an amazing God who cares so much for the hurting, the lost, the rejected. Throughout the Scriptures, from Deut. 10:18, "He defends the cause of the fatherless..." to James 1:27, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before the Father is this: to care for (visit) orphans and widows in their distress...", we see that God's heart beats for orphans. But even more amazing is the fact that He asks us, His church, to join Him in His Kingdom work.
It's like God is leaning down, as a father to his child, saying, "Do you want to do something crazy? I want to invite you to truly come and know me, to see me show up, to see me come in power and bring glory to my name. I want to invite you to care for orphans and participate in adoption, because I am the Father to the Fatherless and I will be found there.” What an amazing invitation! Show Hope wants to help you answer this call.
As you step out in faith, we encourage you to H.O.P.E.- Hear from God, Obey Him, Plan properly, and Expect miracles! Remember, God delights in putting the fatherless in families, just as it gave Him great pleasure to purchase our freedom and bring us to Himself through the blood of Jesus. When we were alone, rejected, undeserving and broken, He became a Father to the fatherless; let us, as the body of Christ, go forth and do likewise.
With hope for the fatherless,
Steven Curtis Chapman and Scott Hasenbalg (Executive Director, Show Hope)
Learn more about how to get your church involved.
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