How do I get my church leadership
more involved?

Helping your church leadership become more involved

You want to help your church leadership become more engaged with foster care, but you’re not sure how. We’ve been there,
and have ideas to get you started.

Five ways to help your church leadership become more engaged in foster care:

Your responsibility is to pray for a movement, not push an agenda. Pray for the heart of your pastor, that God would stir it in new ways towards the plight of orphans. Pray that he would continually be drawn to areas of scripture that specifically address the church’s call to care for the helpless and hopeless. Pray for the culture of your church – that it would be defined more by what pains God’s heart and drives His hands than by where it meets, what style music it has and how great the children’s programs are.

Demonstrate the necessity of an orphan care ministry to your pastor and your church through your actions, not just your words. Continue to be obedient to the call God has placed on your heart and be faithful to fulfill that. In other words, lead by example. Let those around you see the work you are doing, not in a self-promoting way but for the purpose of opening them up to it and engaging them in it. Your pastor is far more likely to receive a proven, faithful posture from you then a loud yet inconsistent, disjointed one.

Don’t try to implement something good in your church by pointing out all that is bad in it. What gain is there if you get your way by being a jerk about it? Communicate with your words and demonstrate through your actions that you are there to serve the vision and mission of your church – and that you will both publicly and privately support it and your pastor. Don’t be belligerent or derogatory. Rather, earn the ear and the respect of your leadership through humble submission and honorable engagement.

You are likely far more versed in the world of orphan care than your pastor is. You’ve read the books and attended the conferences. It’s a passion you have no doubt given many hours and much energy to. Don’t use the information you have as ammunition against your pastor but rather as encouragement for him to become more engaged. Provide good biblical resources (books?), practical education opportunities (research? stats?) and arenas to connect with others who have a shared vision and heart (network groups? conferences?). The problem is likely not that your pastor doesn’t care about orphans, but that he doesn’t know how to care about orphans. Be helpful. Be informative. Help put kindling around his heart and ask God to light the fire.

Finally, be realistic. Don’t expect things to change overnight. You are not talking about a peripheral ministry to the church that is easy to implement and a breeze to maintain. You are talking about eternally effecting change in the lives of children and families. This is no small task, and one that requires much patience. Start slow and start small. Do what you can with what you have today then do what you can tomorrow with what you have tomorrow. In the end, these kids are worth the long, hard work it may require of you.

Jason Johnson: How to Handle a Church Leader
Who Doesn't Seem to "Get It"

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Ministry Coaching is available to CAFO Members through the National Church Ministry Initiative Coaching Team. This team is comprised of CAFO church and organizational member leaders who are actively serving and leading in their own churches, ministries and communities. All coaches are real-life practitioners that are experiencing positive outcomes in their ministries and have made themselves available to help encourage, equip and guide other leaders no matter where they are in their ministry – either just getting started or leading and growing existing ministries. To find out more and request a coach, visit the CAFO National Church Ministry.

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