Previously I wrote about how the church needs to “Take Care of Itself” as part of its efforts in orphan care.
Today, we’re going to focus on a different aspect of the role that the church can play. I’m going to call it, “encouraging the called.”
The Called? Yes, I firmly believe, as an adoptive parent, that you don’t choose to adopt for fun. You don’t choose to adopt because you have a spare bedroom. You don’t choose to adopt because…….
You choose to adopt because God told you to. God called you to step out and help a child who needed help. God called you to do “this.”
And the church (and the members of the church) should do everything in their power to encourage those who are called. Encourage those who want to be foster parents. Encourage those who are taking in the their cousin’s daughter because the cousin has trouble with the law and with drugs. Encourage those who feel called to go “over there” and welcome a child into their family.
Don’t be judgmental and say things like, “What are you thinking?” Or when things are taking too long, “I wondered why you……..” Or when things aren’t going well, “You know, that’s what happens…….”
Don’t. Just don’t go there.
But also, don’t lay guilt trips on people if they don’t adopt or foster. NOT everyone is cut out for this journey. I cringe when I read blogs or hear sermons about how God is calling everyone to adopt or if every church in the first world would adopt ______ children, then the problem would be over. Don’t make people feel guilty for not adopting.
James 1:27 says that true religion is to care for orphans. It doesn’t say that true religion is to become an adoptive parent. Everyone should do something, but not everyone should adopt.
What should a church do? They should encourage anyone who is feeling called to make a difference for the orphans of the world.
Are you feeling called to adopt? – then your church should encourage that.
Are you feeling called to become a foster parent? – then your church should encourage that.
Are you feeling called to support an adoption agency? – then your church should encourage that.
There are too many churches and too many people who are saying, “the problem is too big and too wide” and sitting there doing nothing.
Instead of doing that, if you see someone who wants to or is doing something for the orphans of the world, encourage them!
It will make their lives better and it will probably make you feel better too.