Families who listen to the call to care for kids from hard places, whether through foster care or adoption, need support. Both individual families and the church as a whole can see benefits when kids from hard places are brought into families within the church community.
Here are 5 benefits of foster and adoptive families being involved in the church:
Extended Faith Community
Kids from hard places often have a hard time trusting adults. By involving these kids in a healthy faith community they start to learn not all adults are bad. Having a variety of positive influences in their lives, outside of their parents, is healthy for any kid, but can be especially healthy for these kids. Peggy Drexler, Ph.D. reports on the positive benefits seen in children who attend church with their families. She says: “simple acts like reciting prayers and getting dressed each week for service can help impart a feeling of safety and groundedness.”
Engage the Church in Its Calling
Christians are all called to take care of orphans. James 1.27 says: ”Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” While most families in the church won’t bring a child into their home, there are plenty of other ways to help and support families fostering or adopting kids. By recruiting families through the church we are helping the church as a whole to better engage it’s calling.
Increase Foster Care and Adoption in the Church
When people know a family with kids from foster care and are able to be involved in their lives, it can change their perspective on foster care and adoption. So often the only knowledge people have of foster care is a story from a distant acquaintance or the media’s portrayal of the system. A lot can get lost in translation and bringing foster care closer to home can largely impact other families in a congregation, making them more open to bringing a child into their home. Barna research reports 38% of practicing Christians have seriously considered adoption while only 5% have adopted a child and only 3% have fostered! Let’s work together to change the numbers.
It can be hard for foster and adoptive families to ask for help because many other families simply don’t understand their situation and then foster and adoptive families may become isolated from their community. The goal of recruiting families who are activity involved in church is to help prevent this isolation. While this is not a guarantee, at Project 1.27 we are actively working to create more thorough and supportive church ministries to better engage with foster and adoptive families. When working well, the church community is designed to easily surround a foster or adoptive family with love and support.
We believe in the power of prayer and we believe prayer is necessary when working with kids from hard places. A loving church community can surround a family with the power of prayer. Prayer for patience and energy for the parents, prayers for healing and peace for the kids, prayers for recovery for birth parents. This powerful act can have rippling positive effects on a family who is fostering or adopting.
We believe in the church’s power for positive change in the lives of kids from hard places. If you are interested in starting a foster and adoption ministry at your church, reach out today.