By Kevin Ezell
When I pastored in Louisville, my friend David Melber and his wife, Tera, started a “Considering adoption” class for couples in our church. It ran for five weeks and became so popular we offered it twice each year.
Not everyone who took the class decided to adopt, but the class became an important part of raising awareness in our church about everything in the adoption process and how we could support those pursuing it.
As believers we should be the biggest advocates for, and participants in, adoption. Three of our six children are adopted. My wife, Lynette, and I benefit so much from church and from fellow believers who support us along the way.
Not only does the Bible encourage us to look after orphans, it is filled with references to our being adopted children of God once we have made Christ forgiver and Lord of our lives.
Here are some ways you can make your church adoption friendly:
- Talk about it from stage.
As pastor, make adoption a priority. Regularly remind your congregation God refers to us as His adopted sons and daughters. Let them know that adoption and foster care are great ways to meet urgent needs in today’s society. Allow adoptive parents and older children to tell their stories.
- Share resources and networks that help with adoption.
There are several strong Christian agencies that work locally and internationally. Give these prominent attention in your church resource center, online or in your worship guide.
- Provide assistance to families who are on the adoption journey.
Our church was blessed by donors who specifically gave to help parents with adoption costs. But even without much money, churches can find ways to assist and encourage parents along the way.
- Celebrate when an adoption takes place in your church.
Every birth is special, but be sure you find specific ways to celebrate when a member of your church family adopts. A gathering or a party celebrating an adoption is a great opportunity for your church to demonstrate God’s love and show children they are desperately needed, wanted and loved.
It was amazing to see what God did in our church after we started taking a few simple steps to encourage an adoption culture. I loved walking through our church nursery on Sunday mornings. It felt like a pre-school version of the United Nations!
But even greater was seeing those children later accept Christ and walk with Him.
Your church can play a big role in encouraging and creating adoption opportunities. Don’t miss out on the chance to see God do amazing things through this ministry.