I was looking back at some old blog posts recently, kind of reminiscing about how far this journey has taken me, and how much I’ve learned and experienced along the way. For me, I don’t like wading into online squabbles or controversial issues. I would rather do that face to face. I think it’s the wise approach.
Because of that position, when I saw this post, I immediately thought about how I could have re-titled it. If I were to say it today, it would probably say, “Five Ways the Church is Challenged in it’s Orphan Care Ministry”. You see how that sounds a little “softer”? Less “in your face”? But there is no better balance than grace & truth.
Nonetheless, part of advocating for the most vulnerable is sometimes telling a hard truth.
As I look back now six years later, I think there is a LOT of truth still in this post. Much of the Church still finds itself stuck, in many ways, doing the same ministry to orphans both locally and globally (see the second half of James 1:27 for many of the root causes of lack of focus in the church). Could we agree today to stop long enough to ask this question, “Is what we are doing (locally or globally) helping children get into loving families or are we just doing what we’ve always done?”
Is it wrong to ask your orphan care ministry to be intentional, like other major ministries at the church? I don’t think it is. Matter of fact, I think it is wrong to just leave it up to the most passionate volunteer leader. They need a goal. They need a vision. And they need a clear lane to run with the approval of their church leaders!
For almost nine years, it has been the mission of Patch Our Planet to help churches create custom orphan care plans by asking some tough, internal questions. Once the truth is established, then an intentional, long-term plan can be put in place. I’ve seen churches supporting up to 80 different ministries, spread so thin that they can’t focus on doing anything with great focus. And, what’s worse is that most don’t even know what is happening on the other side of their giving.
With all of that in mind today, let’s take a look back at “Five Ways to Ensure the Orphan Crisis Will Never Be Solved by the Church”:
1. Focus on building more orphanages and less on getting children into forever families.
2. Avoid the following books of the Bible: James, Exodus, Isaiah, Job, Psalm, Matthew, Acts, John, Jeremiah, Esther, Deuteronomy, Hosea, Malachi, 1 Timothy, Lamentations, Proverbs, 2 Kings, Judges, Numbers, Ezekiel, and Genesis.
3. Pray for orphans without families around the world, then take no action.
4. Keep the benefit when you visit them. Take pictures. Feel sad. Be humbled. Play soccer. Then go home and talk a lot about your experience.
5. Let non-profits and passionate orphan advocates take care of the crisis.
Let’s Solve it!
Does your church have a long-term, intentional orphan care plan? Why not? Would your church set one up if they knew there was a ministry that would travel to them and guide them through something like that? Even customize it under their church’s mission/vision?
What if they found out that this ministry doesn’t charge churches but allows the church to invest whatever amount they see fit?
That’s our faith step. God always takes care of the rest.
I hope your church takes advantage of that offer this year. Not only will your advocates thank you, but you will see how much greater focus and effectiveness you can have simply by shining the light on orphan care and putting together a smart plan according to the strengths of your church. It doesn’t have to be huge and unattainable. Just start at home and where you are connected globally. You’ll be amazed at the difference.
Hope to hear from your church!