10 Things That Will Kill Your Church's Orphan Care Ministry: Pt.5

October 10, 2017 rachelmiley Blog

10 Things That Will Kill Your Church’s Orphan Care Ministry: Poor Connection and Prayerlessness

Rick Morton, Vice President of Engagement 

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#9 Poor Connection

 

This is the 9th post in a series entitled “10 Things That Will Kill Your Church’s Orphan Care Ministry.”

This series is born out of several years of consulting with and observing many churches across America develop orphan care ministries. Over time, I have noticed some common mistakes that cause these ministries to struggle and even fail. Over the next few weeks, I want to share those observations with you in an effort to help and to stir a discussion about the good things being done to minister well in orphan care.

So, one more thing that will kill your orphan care ministry is:

Poor Connection 

For orphan ministry to be effective, it has to be connected to the overall mission and vision of the church. There are TWO important reasons why:

  1. The mission of the Church isn’t alterable or debatable– Ultimately, the church’s mission is defined by Jesus, the head of the Church. What we do in and through the church we do under the rule and authority of Jesus because the church is His. The church’s mission is to make disciples because that’s what Jesus set us apart to do, and orphan care is part of that mission. We can’t lose sight of either priority. Not accounting for the sameness of the mission of every church found in the gospel will kill your church’s orphan ministry.
  2. Each church is set into a specific context.The time and place of its existence is part of what God uses to shape its unique vision. No two local churches will work to accomplish the mission of the universal Church the same way. That means that no two churches can accomplish orphan ministry the same way. Not being sensitive to the culture inside and outside your church and accounting for the uniqueness will kill your church’s orphan ministry.

 

How have you honored the timeless gospel mission while respecting your church’s uniqueness in building an orphan ministry? We would love to partner with your church to help challenge and equip your members to share the reality, communicate God’s call, and find practical ways to respond. We also have created a resource page that we hope will bring momentum to your church in caring for the fatherless. Visit lifelinechild.org/orphan-sunday for more information.

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#10 Prayerlessness

 

This is the 10th and final post in this series entitled “10 Things That Will Kill Your Church’s Orphan Ministry.” This series is born out of several years of consulting with and observing many churches across America develop orphan care ministries. Over time, I have noticed some common mistakes that cause these ministries to struggle and even fail. Over the next few weeks, I want to share those observations with you in an effort to help and to stir a discussion about the good things being done to minister well in orphan care.

So, one final thing that will kill your orphan ministry is:

Prayerlessness

The world’s orphan crisis is epic. According to UNICEF’s estimates there are approximately 153 million orphans around the globe, but the number really fails to represent the crisis accurately. This number represents children who have lost 1 parent to death, but it does not account for the scores of children abandoned by living parents, those living on the streets, those enslaved and trafficked, and those in countries (particularly Islamic) who fail to report orphan statistics. In truth, the UNICEF number is a statistic that is meant to underscore the vulnerability of children to the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic not to account for what we would consider orphaned children. A really good statistic doesn’t exist to estimate the number of orphans worldwide, but we can be assured that there are scores of them and they need our help desperately. 

God has given the responsibility of orphan care to His people in order to display His character and His salvation to the nations, but we have to acknowledge that the task is beyond us. We need something more than the resources at our disposal to address the problem. 

Unfortunately, too many churches make the mistake of focusing too intently on the tangible over the intangible. Instead of taking sufficient time to pray, they are drawn into the easy trap of working hard at solving problems for orphans without seeking God’s power, direction, and provision. We can’t afford not to take time to pray.

Prioritizing prayer seems oxymoronic to many, but it makes perfect sense. In elevating prayer, we acknowledge our helplessness and utter dependence upon God. Prayer is something tangible. It is communion with the Most High God. It is the most important work. 

Being prayerless in orphan care is like “taking a knife to a gunfight.” It is a powerless, losing proposition. It aims too low. We will find ourselves meeting mere temporal needs with no lasting significance and no gospel impact if we fail to pray for God’s direction and provision constantly.

  • How do you pray for orphans?
  • How has God answered your prayers with direction and provision in orphan care
  • What do you need to be praying for right now?

 

We would love to partner with your church to help challenge and equip your members to share the reality, communicate God’s call, and find practical ways to respond. We also have created a resource page that we hope will bring momentum to your church in caring for the fatherless. Visit lifelinechild.org/orphan-sunday for more information.

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