In the biblical book of Acts, we read about the establishment of the first church. It is not a building or a place; the church is a body of believers. God commands believers to first, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Second, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Finally, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matt 28:19-20). Humankind is called on to spread the gospel. Similarly, God also directs believers to love one another, serve one another, care for widows and orphans, and minister to the poor.
Almost every Christian ministry voices the same complaint, “I wish that more pastors or churches were involved in the cause.” It doesn’t matter whether it is human trafficking, unplanned pregnancies, drug addictions, or marital discord, we want the church more involved in the work we are doing.
Pastors and Church Engagement
The pro-life community wants the church to talk about life throughout the year, not just on Sanctity of Life Sunday. Similarly, others wish pastors didn’t discuss orphan care and adoption during November’s National Adoption Month only.
No matter what the concern, we want our pastors engaged in the areas where we are serving. We want our friends and fellow churchgoers to be engaged in our efforts with the same passion that we have.
Reasons Not To Preach
The reasons vary on why some pastors do not address these challenging areas:
- Sensitivity. Not wanting to offend parishioners experiencing that area of concern
- Judgement. Not wanting people to feel judged
- Lack of knowledge. Not fully aware of the different facets of the area of concern
- Lack of services. Not knowing what type of service the church can offer
The majority of pastors would identify themselves as pro-life. Many of them are actually involved in advancing and protecting the sacredness of human life in some way.
However, many are pro-life in name only, with very little activity behind it.
Hartford Institute estimates there are 314,000 protestant churches of different denominations and 25,000 Catholic or Orthodox churches in the United States. According to the National Congregations Study, the average size of a church is 75 regular participants.
The problem is not about an interest or willingness. The problem is more about having practical ways to engage and support the different causes beyond just preaching. The church has a limited bandwidth of resources in both people and finances.
Church Bodies Engaged
Most people approach a group, excited to share what God is doing through their ministry. They want to raise funds and expect everyone will be as enthusiastic as they are once they hear how God is working.
The disappointment arises when only one family commits support out of the ten in attendance. People live busy lives, and there are many demands on each person’s time, talents, and tithes.
A person passionate about the unborn wants people to be just as zealous as they are. Another person is passionate about rescuing human trafficking and wants others to be as committed as they are. The cause doesn’t matter whether it is serving those thwarted by racism or elevating those discounted because of disabilities, we all passionate about something and we want others to have that same passion.
Engaged in the Sanctity of Life
The primary question is, does each person in the church body believe and subscribe to the truth in God’s word about the sanctity of human life? The first mission for each ministry is to share that truth as the foundation of the work they do.
Believers in Jesus Christ need to fully understand and own the reality of the identity, value, and purpose they have in Christ. People who hold this truth want others to have it too.
To get the church body engaged in the Sanctity of Life causes, we must share the truth about the sacredness ascribed to each person created in the image of God. We must help them discover and understand these truths.
Church Engagement Mission
When a church is fully engaged in the gospel message of the sanctity of life, they are healthier and more equipped to take on the causes that devalue human life. Members are able to richly minister to those being devalued.
When pastors experience the miracle of life through visual windows into a baby’s development and see the truth about abortion, they immediately ask what can be done? Pastors discovering that members of their community are being trafficked also ask what can be done?
The good news is there are ministries, programs, and services actively working to elevate life around the world where life is being devalued.
The first step is getting pastors, and church bodies engaged in the sanctity of all life. Through training seminars, church and missionary awareness campaigns, and online educational opportunities this is being accomplished. There just needs to be more of it.
The more pastors and churches that become engaged in the Sanctity of Life, the more lives will be saved by the church bodies who elevate, protect, and care for those in need. Will you help us make sure more pastors and churches hear the truth about the sanctity of all life and the opportunities that exist for them to save lives?