Whenever I travel and it includes a weekend stay, I ask the front desk clerk, “Is there a church within walking distance?”

I quickly make note of their instructions so I can be sure to attend Sunday service.  You see, if the church shares the gospel message, I consider myself a family member who has stopped by without calling in advance. 

I know I’m welcome, and I’ll nestle in wherever there’s room.  I’m there to glean, receive and yes, even donate. Because that’s what family does. 

When I think of adoption, I think of being welcomed into the family of God. Ephesians 1:5 (NLT) “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”

Pastor, there are families thinking of adopting children, and they are looking for an adoption-friendly church. A place where their entire family will feel safe, nurtured and welcomed. They’re looking for a gentle shepherd who cares for his or her people.

Prospective adoptive families are interested in how you have educated the other families and their children about diversity.  Adoptive families don’t always look alike.  Your teachings on being a compassionate people are important, as are your teachings on being sensitive to kids who have lost their birth family or who may be adjusting to the idea of coming to church.  

Here’s some characteristics of adoption-friendly churches:

Prepare your children’s church and youth church leaders

  • Equip your staff by hosting training that best informs them to handle the unique challenges and behaviors of children from hard places. An extra dose of love and calm will go a long way.
  • Invite licensed child welfare professionals to speak to your team of ministry volunteers so they have a greater understanding on how to serve the children and their families.
  • Invite special education teachers or behavioral health clinicians to do an in-service with your team of staff and volunteers.  Their knowledge about sensory toys and transitions may prove beneficial.

Prayer Time

  • Pray for families who have just welcomed children home. Remember to keep them on the prayer list as they settle into their new routines.
  • Check on families who have been absent from services. They might need extra prayer as they work through challenges.

Support

  • Whether you prepare meals, offer to watch the children, or just drop off a gift card, your acts of kindness make a world of difference.
  • Respite care. This type of support allows an adoptive couple to have regular date nights. A healthy marriage is the foundation for a couple to parent well.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask the family ‘How can we support you?’  
    • “Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
    • Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have because God is pleased with these kinds of sacrifices. (Heb 13:16)

It is a calling to become an adoptive family. The church can be on the frontline as it supports each person to fulfill God’s calling. 

Your leadership in this space speaks volumes to the families attending the church and those seeking a new place to worship and nestle their family. 

The Adoption Journey

November is National Adoption Month. For more information on adoption and an honest look at what you really need to know visit our Adoption Journey web page.

The Focused Pastor

For more resources like this article, create an account at The Focused Pastor. The Focused Pastor is an online dashboard where church leaders can access entire libraries of FREE, proven tools designed to help them manage their churches more effectively in the areas of marriage, parenting, advocacy for children, evangelism and culture engagement.

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