Arouse the Lion!

 In arouse, Asleep, blog, church, comfortable, defender, fatherless, light, lion, Lion of Judah, number, orphan, Patch, Planet, startle

Here kitty kitty:
If someone happened to startle this sleeping lioness, do you think she would react?  I think she would be pretty mad.  She would likely take swift action. Let me ask you this- what if she had little lion cubs?  Do you think that lioness would “up her response” and wake up the male lion sleeping just yards away?  That makes me shiver just thinking about it.
Throughout the Bible, God is known as the defender of the fatherless.  As believers, we are to reflect the character of God.  Right now, in regards to orphan care, many churches look less like defenders and more like the male lion who is content to sleep in the tall grass 22 hours a day.  Unmatched power lies asleep in the grass.
There is a song “Asleep in the Light” by the late Keith Green that still serves as a great reminder to the church in this context:
“…Open up open up
And give yourself away
You see the need, you hear the cries
So how can you delay.

God’s calling and you’re the one
But like Jonah you run
He’s told you to speak
But you keep holding it in,
Oh can’t you see it’s such a sin?

The world is sleeping in the dark
That the church just can’t fight
Cause it’s asleep in the light
How can you be so dead
When you’ve been so well fed…”

Is your church in the fight for orphans?  Could you and I arouse our churches to rise up from the comfortable tall grass and take our place as defenders of the fatherless?  You bet we can.  There is unmatched power waiting to be released in our communities as our churches wake up from their orphan care slumber.  Our Heavenly Father’s character should inspire us all to take action.   
But, we need to hurry. There is another lion that prowls around seeking to destroy these children. (1 Peter 5:8).  If we don’t get to them first, he will.  Look around.  He’s beating us at almost every turn.
I want to offer some practical ways to get your church involved.
Five ways to get started:
1.  Pray.  Invite those with a passion for foster/orphan care to join in prayer for the children in your community.
2.  Identify the need in your community first.  Work with church leaders to help devise a strategy that will fit with the overall vision of the church.
3.  Equip pastors, staff and church leaders with a long term strategy of care (that’s what we do).  This gives them the confidence to lead the effort and cast the vision.  It also uncaps the incredible potential that exists in each church.  Without the involvement of church leaders, the effort will not be maximized.
4.  Train foster parents, teach on Biblical adoption and provide adoption resources for interested folks.
5.  Identify the need globally.  Where are you connected globally and how can you change your strategy to be involved long term with an orphan work? 
Here are two examples of our partners’ work –
 http://www.every-child.com/ (The Chapel in Buffalo, NY)
http://www.fbcw.org/foster-care/ (First Woodstock in GA)
Always begin with the orphan’s needs as the priority.  This will help guide your strategy.
At least it’s a start.
Somebody go arouse the sleeping lion!
Steve Gillis
Founder/Executive Director
This video goes well with the blog today. 
I can’t wait to rent this movie.
The Last Lions

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