Article Feb 15, 2016

Starting a pregnancy care ministry at your church

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19).

The bedrock of the vision of Care Net, a pregnancy care ministry that supports one of the largest networks of pregnancy centers in North America and runs the nation’s only real-time call center providing pregnancy decision coaching, is to see a culture where women and men faced with pregnancy decisions are transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Why is that so important? Because without the transformative power of the gospel, the women and men considering abortion will fall prey to the 18/18 rule coined by Roland C. Warren, Care Net’s president and CEO. The 18/18 Rule says, “Without the transforming power of the gospel, the same woman that visits a pregnancy center today will find herself in another unplanned pregnancy in 18 months and her daughter or son will be facing the same pregnancy decision in another 18 years.”  

As followers of Jesus, we are called to bring the gospel to the women and men we minister to as we stand for life. There are approximately 2,500 pregnancy centers in the U.S., but there are approximately 350,000 Christian churches.. So, if we are called by Christ to “go and make disciples,” how does that translate to our day-to-day outreach to save the lives of the unborn?

Abortion: A log in the eye of the church

In December 2015, Christianity Today released results from a national survey, commissioned by Care Net, that revealed four out of 10 women who had an abortion were actively attending church at the time of their abortion. Also, consider the Guttmacher Institute numbers that say 65 percent of women who have abortions self-identify as Christian (37 percent, Protestant and 28 percent, Catholic). Christ gave his life for the church that she would be glorious, without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish (Eph. 5:25-27). And yet, abortion is a log in the eye of the church. And what an ugly log it is.   

This places the church squarely at a new crossroads; at a major decision point that could define the future of the church’s impact in our culture. Will the church ignore what we’ve recently learned about the abortion industry from the Planned Parenthood exposé videos, or will we believe the words of Christ in Matthew 16:17-19 when he says that the powers of hell will not and cannot conquer his church? Only Christ’s church has the power to overcome this evil known as abortion in a battle that is ultimately spiritual—a battle that Christ has already won, but one we are currently facing.

A new way to minister to those considering abortion

Care Net’s vision in launching our church initiative was to pull back the curtain and reveal the facts about abortion in the church and also offer the solution. We have developed a one-of-a-kind curriculum called Making Life Disciples (MLD). MLD will equip the church to offer compassion, hope, help and discipleship to women and men considering abortion.

MLD is an out-of-the-box, six-part DVD curriculum specifically crafted to give a church everything it needs to start a pregnancy care ministry. Throughout the content, churches will be guided by leaders of the pro-life and pregnancy center movements on how to set up their ministry, how to work with women and men facing pregnancy decisions, how to partner with pregnancy centers, and how to make disciples for Christ through the work of ministering to women and men during a time of great need. 

God has provided like-minded men and women, gifted in the art of curriculum production, to lend their considerable talents, expertise and resources to the creation of Making Life Disciples. Churches will have engaging, visually beautiful video footage that will guide them through the challenging task of learning how to minister to those deceived by the culture into believing abortion is their only option.  

Care Net is also humbled by the contribution of Tony Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, who participated in segments of MLD to call pastors to stand for life as well as emphasize the power of the gospel as we surround women and men with the love of the Father during one of the most frightening times of their lives.

Is the church ready to train up life disciples who can offer compassion, hope and help to women and men considering abortion? Is the church ready to walk alongside unmarried parents by filling in the gap with mentors, friends and stand-in grandpas? Are we ready to start post-abortion healing ministries for the many women and men who suffer silently each week as they sit in pews and put on a happy face? Now is the time for the church to get ready.

ERLC2018