Identify other passionate foster and adoptive families to join you in prayer and discussion. There are likely people in your church right now who would love to give their time and talents to the needs of the orphan. Set up a meeting with other families and discuss ideas and your vision. Have a meeting with appropriate church staff to see how the ministry can fit into the churches mission. Many churches have hosted informational meetings on the whole foster and adoption process. It seems to work best if it is promoted in bulletin and from pastoral staff. Meetings are then facilitated by a foster or adopt parent or passionate orphan care church member.
Dream together about the possibilities. Through the process of seeking God’s will and talking with your team, there will be many ideas and dreams that come to mind. Collect those ideas and prayerfully begin to determine what God has put on the heart of your team. Consider reading “Adopted For Life” – The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches by Russell D. Moore. This book will encourage you along in the process. Below is a list of questions to consider during the brainstorming process.
Will our effort center around a Life Group or a ministry in the church?
How can we educate the congregation on the need for respite care, babysitting, hospital sitter, donations, meals for families, assist with school supplies, etc?
Will we hold informational meetings on how to foster and/or adopt?
Will we host foster care classes?
How do we engage families not interested in adoption and foster care but still want to help in some way?
How can we help families become respite care certified?
Can we assist with fund raising for international adoptive families?
How do we continue to educate, encourage, and equip families in our church?
How can life groups and home groups better support and encourage foster and adoptive families?
Determine your focus of orphans' ministry. At this point, some ideas will have surfaced regarding the general direction your ministry will go. You will find yourself moving toward at least one of the three channels of orphan ministry, if not all three:
- foster care
- adoption – international private domestic
- visiting and mentoring orphans (foster care and international).
- Some churches focus on one and then grow into the others and some are able to focus on all three day one. We encourage consideration and an open mind towards all three. The need is great and individuals are being called to all manners of involvement. The local church should be there to encourage and support them regardless of the direction they are being called.
Approach a Key Leader with your vision. In order to start the process, someone in a key position of leadership needs to know your intentions and have the opportunity to guide your efforts. You will need to find the right leader in your church and help them to understand both your desire to start an orphans ministry and your intentions to assemble a team of people and a plan of action. November is a great month to start your efforts in a church as November is National Orphan Awareness Month. During the month of November every year, in thousands of churches nationwide, pastors share God's passion for the orphan and instructions on how God’s people are to care for them.
Whatch this sermon video
Jeff Harris from Grace Point Church in San Antonio. The video starts with a clips on statistics and testimonies. His sermon starts after those two complete.
Implement your plans, engage the entire church and watch God work. The launch of your church’s Orphans Ministry is an exciting time. Engaging the entire church at this stage is key to gaining momentum and building your ministry. Create the village God calls his church to be for the orphans here and abroad. It really takes a village to care for the abused, abandoned, neglected innocent victims in this world. Once you have launched, it is time to work in partnership with others and celebrate what God does.
Share what you've learned, your best practices, needs, trends, resources, and ideas via the Alliance community.
The South Texas Alliance for Orphans team is available to help you at every step along the way.