At Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, we are thankful for each of you who believe in what God can do through our ministries. We have the privilege of serving children and families – meeting their needs and showing them the love of Christ. What brings meaning to every outreach program and ministry is the actual child whose life is being saved. It is not about numbers or statistics. Helping one more child inspires to do what we do every day.
There are so many children in our state, in our country, and in our world who need help. Some need safety and security. Others need food and clothing. Some need a warm embrace. Others need a patient friend to love them through their healing. They all need the reminders of the redeeming and transforming love of Christ. Whether it’s your time, resources or talents, please consider helping precious children in need. Will you help by starting an Orphan Care Ministry in your church?
Jerry T. Haag, Ph.D., CFP
Start your Orphan Care Ministry today!
Recently one of our foster families called to tell us they would not be re-licensing their home. When pressed for a reason, all they could say was, “Lack of support.” They had experienced a crisis in their home with one of their placements and did not feel they had anyone they could turn to for prayer support or resources that would understand what they were going through.
These were one of our most committed foster parents who were in it for all the right reasons. Could their story have turned out differently had the body of Christ wrapped around them in their time of need? The Orphan Care plan we recommend for a church is one that involves insulating foster parents, adoptive families and other orphan care ministries with a three-pronged approach. When caring for children with broken stories, there is a huge need for a strong support system.
A system that would include …
- Prayer warriors, who will be passionate about praying for a child, by name, who doesn’t have a loved one lifting them to the Father. This is the most important way we can ensure a strong foundation.
- Resources such as meals, transportation, furniture or diapers. Every family needs to know they will have the resources for the call God has on their lives.
- Respite to prevent burnout and fatigue. Coming alongside a foster or adoptive family and providing much-needed rest may be just what they need to help them continue in the call to help one more child.
ASK OTHERS TO PRAY
Before initiating an orphan care ministry, it is important to call your church into prayer. A great time to launch your ministry is on Orphan Sunday, typically the second Sunday in November. When a church focuses on the needs of orphans both domestically and internationally, through a launch event, eyes are opened and people respond to seek the Lord and get involved. After your Orphan Sunday event, call the church into prayer. The following scripture versus will help them as they are praying about how they should be involved.
Psalm 127:3 (CEV)
Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.
When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow.
Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
But I will protect the orphans who remain among you. Your widows, too, can depend on me for help.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Put together a team at your church that will make your Orphan Care Ministry possible.
HOST A GATHERING
- Set a day and time for an initial meeting, and invite those who may be interested in starting an Orphan Care Ministry at your church.
- Specifically ask those who you believe have a tender heart for children and issues impacting the well-being of children.
- Make this initial meeting a dream session! Pose this question: “If we could do anything…”
- Dream with your eyes open. Explore the answer to this question locally, domestically and internationally.
INCLUDE YOUR LEADERSHIP AND INVITE US!
- At your gathering, include a church staff member (pastor, mission pastor, children’s pastor, etc.) in your meeting, but remember the pastor does not have to lead this initiative.
- Invite a staff member or representative of One More Child to be at the meeting to answer questions and explore the possibilities alongside you. This staff member will gather resources to aid you in the planning process and help you research the needs locally and globally.
GET DOWN TO BUSINESS FOR THE NEEDS OF CHILDREN.
- Determine how often your Orphan Care Team will meet.
- Create a name for your Orphan Care Ministry.
- Choose which area(s) of ministry your team will focus on.
A good team consist of 5-7 individuals who are passionate about orphan care ministry. Each one commits to a specific role of responsibility. After your first meeting and as your Orphan Care Ministry’s vision comes to life, make sure each leadership team member has a designated role. Of course, each church’s Orphan Care Ministry team will be different as God leads your area of greatest impact, but here are a few possibilities for team member job assignments:
- Foster Care Recruitment Coordinator – Hosts events and initiatives, creating opportunities to recruit foster parents throughout the church and community.
- Foster Care Support Coordinator – Leads the church to support foster families through wraparound services making sure every foster family has a prayer warrior, needed resources and a respite family to help them in their foster parent journey.
- Adoption Support Coordinator – Helps lead efforts to raise funds and pray for families seeking to adopt a child or sibling group. Coordinates support groups for adoption families.
- Family Preservation Leader– Leads the church to help families in crises to keep them together through feeding programs and parenting support.
- Statewide Needs Coordinator – Leads the church in efforts to meet the needs of foster children locally and throughout the state. This could include efforts of volunteering, leading a church-wide diaper drive, or adopting a cottage on a nearby OMC campus.
- International Needs Coordinator – Leads the church in international orphan care projects to support with resources and mission teams through One More Child.
- Sanctity of Human Life Coordinator – Works with One More Child staff member to explore ways your church can get involved with your local pregnancy care center. Contact our Sanctity of Human Life staff today at Life@FBCHomes.org.
- Child Sex Trafficking Prevention Coordinator – Raises awareness and leads the effort to educate the Church on this issue. Learn more about our Anti-trafficking ministry.
The Orphan Care Ministry leadership team should determine how often they will meet to pray together, plan and report the status of their respective areas as well as their needs.
Remember, OMC can assist your team as you make decisions about what options for engagement are best for your church.
You can have a launch event or church service. Then, set subsequent church-wide events annually (or even monthly). For your launch event, you might consider Mother’s Day to Father’s Day for a month long emphasis or Orphan Sunday, traditionally the first Sunday in November, as your launch day!
- Meet with your church pastor and/or staff to plan for the event, and put a date on the calendar!
- Consider having the event or church service centered on orphan care. Work to include all elements in your presentation including worship music, video presentations and sermon.
- Consider inviting a guest speaker from One More Child by emailing us at Children@FBCHomes.org.
- At your launch event, present
- The why
- The how
- The when
- Consider hosting an interview panel of foster parents, adoptive parents, a foster child, an agency representative, etc. If needed, a One More Child Relations staff member can help enlist a panel for you! Include those in your church who are already serving in foster care and adoption on your panel.
- At the close of your launch event, have a way for people to respond immediately and specifically by creating a response card. Include options for everyone in your church to be able to participate in orphan care at some level. Your OMC Church Relations staff member can help you design the right response card for your church.
- Have display tables set up in a high traffic area of your church. One of our staff members can provide a display and resources to answer questions about our ministry opportunities.
- Set a date for interest meetings for specific areas that will require future training (i.e., foster care, adoption, mission trips).
After the launch, your church will be excited and ready to impact children and bring your orphan care ministry to life. Now is the time to make sure you follow through to get your church members involved.
Host a follow-up information or interest meeting for each area of focus. During the meeting you can:
- Answer questions regarding the details of the specific orphan care ministry of interest.
- Plan for how often each respective meeting will take place.
- Be sure to promote your event to encourage fantastic attendance:
- Create and distribute fliers about your meeting.
- Contact those who signed up by personal email or phone call to invite them personally.
- Ask if your church leadership will send an email about the meeting to all church members. Be sure to give them all the details and verbiage for the email.
- Ask your church to share details about your meeting(s) on the church-wide Facebook page.
- Consider reaching out to other churches in the area and invite them to be part of your ministry also.
IN ADDITION TO INTEREST MEETINGS, CONSIDER HOSTING TRAINING EVENTS AT YOUR CHURCH SPECIFIC TO THE AREAS OF ORPHAN CARE INTEREST.
- Work with One More Child staff to provide the training.
- Consider hosting the training as part of the regularly scheduled church program potentially on a Wednesday night/Sunday evening.
- Work to provide free childcare for families attending the training.
- Consider the option of having prospective foster parents attend a previously scheduled class outside the church at One More Child.
- Pray, meet, organize and plan for the future.
- At your next annual impact event, make sure you show the ways the church has made a difference through the Orphan Care Ministry!
- Recognize everyone who has helped make the Orphan Care Ministry Possible – students including foster teens in ministry, children’s ministry teachers supporting foster children, those who teach, provide meals, transportation, babysit, prayer warriors, etc.
- Click on the links below to find Orphan Care Ministry resources for these specific areas of need:
- Foster Care
- Children’s Homes Campuses
- The Porch Light
- Sanctity of Human Life
- One More Child international child care
- Compassion Ministries
- Single Mothers and Children Program
Transformation Starts with Prayer
You have the opportunity to help transform lives, and it all starts with prayer. By supporting FBCH’s programs, you can help take a child’s life and make it whole. Make the greatest impact for children by focusing on three areas for every ministry.
This three-pronged focus is based on the concept that no matter the ministry, there are three essential needs before transformation can begin:
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 (NLT)
Rest in the shade of the tree while water is brought to wash your feet. Genesis 18:4 (NLT)
Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Luke 16:9 (NLT)
Wrap around the needs of children and the ministries of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes.
FLORIDA BAPTIST CHILDREN’S HOMES
From the opening of our first orphanage in 1904 to our present day ministries that have expanded to provide safe, stable, Christian homes and services to children and families in need across the state and around the globe, we are honored to be helping children in tangible ways. Whether it’s providing clean diapers to a newborn baby, food for a hungry child, safety for an abused child, or foster or adoptive homes to children in crisis, we work to share the healing love of Jesus Christ with children who have been abused, neglected and abandoned.We approach every day motivated by the thought to help one more child!
One More Child is proud to answer God’s call to provide help for the physical and spiritual needs of orphans and vulnerable children throughout the developing world. Our Global ministry is bringing the hope of Christ to children in developing nations through diverse ministries. We mobilize missions teams and work with established national partners in 16 countries to feed hungry children, build homes for impoverished families, establish schools, work in orphanages and provide medical care. We are ultimately focused on meeting the needs of children and families by sharing the hope and restorative love of Jesus Christ.
One More Child is proud to offer shelter, unconditional love and a safe place to begin a new life for child victims of sex trafficking. We provide a Safe Home where girls who have been victimized can find healing and hope. In this nurturing environment, the victimized girls are restored physically, emotionally and spiritually. CSEC-trained female caregivers and a mental health counselor work with the girls during their stay. One More Child strategically partners with community organizations including law enforcement, local task forces, DCF and Community Based Care Agencies to educate in schools, churches and community groups in order to prevent more girls from becoming victims of the growing sex trade.