For the next couple of days I will post some ideas that Shaohannah's Hope gives. Today's idea is start an "Orphan Sunday" at your church. This is what the organization suggests:
One of the most important parts of a successful church ministry is winning the church community to adoption. If you haven’t already, be sure to meet with your church leadership. Before you can formally introduce any ministry in your church it is critical to respectfully and prayerfully seek the counsel, advice, and guidance of your pastoral leadership for purposes of accountability, ministry growth, and access to the church body. Once leadership in your church has caught this vision, it is time to go to members of the congregation to raise corporate awareness.
If your church has established small group Bible Studies, you might consider preparing an inspirational and informative presentation to share on adoption and orphan care with these groups.
Sharing with the Congregation: Orphan/Adoption Sunday
An ideal way to raise awareness and resources in your church is to dedicate a specific day to orphans and adoption. If your church leadership is willing to allot time in one of the main worship services (Sunday service) to teach on God’s call to care for orphans and to celebrate adoption, we have laid out for you a few suggestions for a “Spirit of Adoption” Service or a “Build a Bridge of Hope Sunday” to celebrate adoption in your church. Here is a sample “Build a Bridge of Hope Sunday” outline.
- Establish a date convenient for your fellowship. Preferably around other adoption related events/celebration. Historically, National Adoption Day is celebrated the Saturday before Thanksgiving during National Adoption Awareness month (November). Although any time is appropriate there are a few important dates to note that might help in encouraging your leadership to participate. Possible dates: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, the Sunday after National Adoption Day, or a Sunday in November, National Adoption Awareness Month, or May, National Foster Care Month.
- Advertise around the church on bulletin boards or where appropriate using “Adoption Sunday” posters.
- Encourage your senior pastor to preach about God’s heart for orphans, using resources from Inspirational Materials or the Show Hope Store.
- Play Build a Bridge of Hope video narrated by Steven Curtis Chapman , the Family Testimony video, the Hidden Treasure video, or the Facts video available on the Show Hope DVD.
- Allow an adoptive family to give their testimony.
- Dedicate a percentage of offering to your own adoption/orphan care ministry.
- Bring ALL adoptive families on stage for closing worship/prayer.
- Have a time of “Special Music” using one of the adoption songs mentioned in the Inspirational Materials, or show the “When Love Takes You In” music video.
- Provide bulletin inserts using the H.O.P.E. guidelines with information on http://www.howtoadopt.org/ for those who may be interested in adopting.
- Announce the first Adoption Ministry small group meeting. You may want to consider organizing an adoption workshop in your church as well.
- Consider providing a departing gift or some materials for your church members.