Tuesday, January 26, 2010

20 ways to become an adoption-friendly church

The subtitle of Paul Golden's article in World...

Adoption need not be expensive, legally risky, or involve long delays. Beyond that, the Church should step up even more in this arena.

While Christians commonly praise adoption, most American churches do not have a single family that adopted a child during the past year. Churches can and should play a crucial role in encouraging members to "look after orphans in their distress" (James 1:27). Here are some specific ideas on how to become an adoption-friendly church:

1. Pray that you and your church would become adoption-friendly.

2. Preach key passages on caring for orphans and spiritual adoption.

3. Invite guest speakers to raise awareness of adoption needs and opportunities.

4. Make adoption resources available to the church family.

5. Frequently list pro-adoption ministries and organizations.

6. Encourage couples facing infertility to connect with adoptive parents.

7. Regularly have adoptive parents and birth mothers share their testimony of God's goodness and grace.

8. Educate your church family regarding the costs involved in the adoption process.

9. Encourage the church family to give financially to adoptive couples.

10. Create a standing church fund for adoptions costs.

11. Challenge Sunday school classes and small groups to raise money for adoptive couples.

12. Establish an Adoptive Parents Small Group in your church.

13. Create email list-serves of adoptive parents for support and encouragement.

14. Connect with local social service agencies.

15. Use attorneys or case workers within the church family.

16. Sponsor a child.

17. Participate in mission trips to orphanages abroad.

18. Maximize special holidays to emphasize adoption.

19. Celebrate adoption as a church family.

20. Support adopted kids as they struggle with questions of identity, abandonment, or rejection.


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