Become an Adoption-Friendly Church
Scripture calls Christ-followers to reach out and care for others, looking after orphans in their distress (James 1:27). How can your church play a role in helping people follow the biblical mandate? Check out these ideas on becoming an adoption-friendly church:
List organizations. Frequently list pro-adoption ministries and organizations in your church bulletin and provide a "resources" link on your church Web site featuring these ministries and links to them.
Share adoption stories. Regularly enlist adoptive parents and birth mothers to share their testimonies, often powerful reminders to people of how God works in our lives.
Give financially. Encourage the church family to give financially to adoptive couples. A monetary gift along with a note of encouragement can greatly encourage a couple, affirming their decision to pursue adoption.
Use attorneys or caseworkers within your church. If asked, some lawyers specializing in family law may be willing to donate their time and expertise to assist a church family with the required legal documents.
Leverage special holidays to emphasize adoption. When adoption needs are presented with sensitivity and discernment, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Sanctity of Life Sunday can be an ideal time to raise adoption awareness. Suggested programming: testimonies from an adopted child or parent; a special offering; and possibly a video illustrating the power of adoption as the ultimate expression and outworking of love for the modern-day orphan.
—Paul Golden serves at Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, Pa.
The May/June 2010 issue of Outreach magazine includes additional thoughts on becoming an adoption-friendly church, in "Looking After the Orphan" (Ideas). Each issue of Outreach features ideas, innovations and resources to help you reach your community and change the world. Check out our current subscription offer »