Pastors vs. Orphan Advocates
Pastors & Orphan Advocates – THERE IS HOPE.
There is a story line that plays out on my phone quite a bit.
And it gets me really excited.
The problem is not exciting, but the solution is!
The conversation goes something like this with a pastor or staff member at a church: “Steve, I’m covered up already. I cannot take on anything else. We have these people in our church who are really passionate about foster care and/or global orphans. I’m just not sure what to do with them.”
Can you hear the stress in his voice? I certainly can.
My heart goes out to pastors and church leaders…..I was one for over a decade. These are my friends, my mentors. I want to help them.
Fortunately, there is a solution.
That’s why I get so giddy.
Can I use that word?
Anyway, let me offer pastors, church leaders and orphan advocates a few steps to help get you all out of the stress zone and into a place that will help your church make a real difference for orphans:
1. Orphan Care will not be the “Banner Ministry” at your church. But, it should be a part of it. This understanding will bring peace to both sides and allow everyone to work together more effectively.
2. Pastors – all orphan care advocates are not crazy, just super passionate about the cause….and it is a good cause. It’s actually more than just a cause according to James 1:27. It is at the foundation of pure religion. These “advocates” just need direction and an outlet to minister. As with anything, many will be able to help and few will be able to lead. Connect first with the potential leaders. Then try to imagine a day where you no longer have “orphan advocates”, but a church body committed to serving the fatherless in some way. We should never leave this responsibility to non-profits, governments or the most passionate among us. It’s the responsibility of the Church.
3. Orphan Advocates – pastors/church leaders don’t hate your cause. They actually love children in foster care and orphans around the world. Many have experienced adoption. Many have not. They are usually consumed with all the other ministries. The thought of taking on another cause, even a great one, makes them super stressed. We expect them to lead in every area of church life. What most of us have forgotten is that God puts those passions in our hearts in order to do something with it. Maybe you can be a trusted future leader that can help unleash God’s potential in your church. Find a way to develop ministry under the church’s vision. By the way, that’s what we do.
4. A long term orphan care ministry takes time to build. So, don’t rush it. You will pay a price down the road if you just come out with “guns blazin” with no real strategy. On the other hand, when you lay a strong foundation, you will be helping your church and the children for a long time to come. That’s what we all want.
Orphan care is something that everyone agrees on. Fatherless children need families. Often, the challenge becomes matching the passion of orphan advocates in the church with the vision of the church and its leadership.
It can be done. It is being done.
God wants to use you and your church to change your community and your world.
Take a deep breath. Humble yourself. Think about the Kingdom agenda and not your own.
Then watch God work….
Steve Gillis Founder | Exec. Director www.patchourplanet.org