There are multiple ways for the church to get involved in proclaiming the gospel. Adoption is a clear way to display the gospel, but it’s not the only way. In my last article, Orphans, adoption and the heart of the gospel, I discussed the idea that adoption should be viewed like The Great Commission—while not everyone is called to adopt, everyone is called to care for the welfare of orphans and vulnerable children.
When the church is on the frontlines of caring for the most vulnerable in society, we display the heart of God to a watching world. So, I have four suggestions for those who aren’t called to adopt but want to be involved in caring for orphans and vulnerable children:
1. Pray for orphans and vulnerable children. Never underestimate the power of prayer! In the words of Charles Spurgeon, “To pray is to enter the treasure-house of God and to gather riches out of an inexhaustible storehouse.” May prayer be our first response to the orphan crisis, to the growing number of children in the foster care system, to the abused, the trafficked, the marginalized and the vulnerable. Petition the heart of our Father on behalf of children. Ask the Lord to provide safe, permanent and loving homes and families. Pray for the families that adopt children. Ultimately, pray that the souls of the orphan and vulnerable would be saved into an eternal adoption.
2. Financially help those who are called to adopt. One of the biggest objections people give to adoption is the lack of financial resources. Adoption can be extremely expensive. Depending on where you choose to adopt from, the costs can be as high as $40,000. Consider financially contributing to those who desire to adopt. Many couples are more than willing to open their hearts and homes but don’t have sufficient means in their pocketbooks to cover the expensive adoption process. You’ll never regret investing into the lives of others, into souls that will last for an eternity. Proverbs 19:17 encourages us in this: “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.”
3. Advocate for children. Each of us can use our voice to advocate on behalf of the fatherless, vulnerable, abused and marginalized children. One of the biggest ways to advocate for children is to incorporate God’s care for the vulnerable into regular preaching from the pulpit. Pastors and church leaders have a responsibility to accurately portray the heart of God from the pulpit. The Lord has entrusted each one of us with different gifts, bank accounts, schedules, etc. Examine your resources, and consider the ways you can advocate for children. You can also learn how to be a better advocate for children at conference like Evangelicals for Life.
4. Serve those who are directly involved in child welfare. One of the greatest ways to care for adoptive families and those involved in adoption and foster care is to provide a strong community that’s dedicated to loving and supporting them as they are on the frontlines of caring for vulnerable children. Serving in practical ways is immensely helpful. Several practical ways to serve are:
- Babysitting so a couple can go on a date night
- Bring over a meal
- Ask. “How are you truly doing?” and take time to listen to the answer
- Mentor a foster or adopted child
Our actions on earth have eternal consequences. We should choose wisely. The world is tuning in to see how Christians will respond to vulnerable people, especially children. Even if you’re not called to adopt, you are called to point people to Christ with your words and deeds. As we love and serve orphans, may our love stem from God’s greater love for us and lead others to put their faith in him.