January 21, 2018 is National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. .
Recently, we learned from a national survey that four in ten women were attending church at least once a month at the time of their first abortion. This alarming fact created an urgency and, in God’s providence, prompted us to create a resource to reach out, with grace, to the abortion-vulnerable in the church. That ministry tool is called Making Life Disciples and is designed to equip a select group of individuals in your congregation to offer compassion, help, and hope to women and men facing pregnancy decisions.
Making Life Disciples, a DVD-based training, is an excellent way to prepare a group of first responders in your church to minister to the abortion vulnerable.
I invite you to go beyond a great message and, using bulletin inserts this year, capitalize on a fresh way to address abortion: Making Life Disciples. Give fresh inspiration for your congregants to become involved in compassionate help and disciple-making.
Here’s what I suggest:
- Decide what you’re going to preach on. Here are two resources with fresh statistics to aide in your preparation:
- Download this bulletin insert that will integrate well with your sermon and the vision below. It also gives three practical and loving ways for your congregants to get involved.
- At the end of your message, extend a public invitation for any that have a heart for the abortion-vulnerable to attend an exploratory and no-obligation follow-up event on a specific night, no more than three weeks after National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Give date, time, and place.
- At the follow-up event, share your heart for your church to do something specific, measurable, and tangible for the abortion-vulnerable in your midst. Spend some time in prayer and show the 30 min. “Leader Session” from the Making Life Disciples curriculum (available for purchase here).
- After the viewing the “Leader Session,” show them the makinglifedisciples.com website. Tell them there’s an opportunity for their church to become part of a national movement of 1,000 churches implementing Making Life Disciples by the end of 2020. Ask those present to let you know now or in the next week (again, give them a specific date) if they would like to go through this kind of training.
- If possible, based on the response, delegate the actual running of the course to a competent and passionate individual. Have that person sign your church up to be part of the 1,000 churches.
- Be prepared for those that are post-abortive. This kind of ministry often gives context for confession of sin and healing to take place. Also, sometimes those that are post-abortive bring great passion and energy to pro-life efforts. They want to spare others from the pain they’ve suffered. One caution here, however, is to make sure potential volunteers have experienced Christ’s forgiveness; that is, that they are not seeking to atone for past sins through involvement. If you encounter any needs in this area, this resource may be helpful for any in need of healing.
- Once a team is trained, give your public support through a commissioning service. This is so critical—especially for this ministry. Since abortion is such a private and hidden consideration, it’s critical that your congregation know who the individuals are who are trained to offer compassion, help, and hope—AND, that you are behind them!
- Here are two other important ways you can reach out to the abortion-vulnerable in your midst:
- Offer links to your church’s “pregnancy decision coaching” services on your church’s website. Link it to your Life Disciples team or your local pregnancy center.
- Put some brochures in the men’s and women’s restrooms that communicate to any considering abortion that confidential help and support are available.
- If no one shows up or expresses interest in your follow-up event, wait on God’s timing. Begin to pray intentionally with your leadership for the abortion-vulnerable and what your church might do in the future. God must provide the fire and wind beneath our sails. As Moses said, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.” (Exodus 33:15, ESV) It can be hard to wait on God’s timing but sometimes that’s the wisest thing to do.
You can download the entire Sanctity of Human Life Sunday Kit free at the link below:
May God bless your courage to give leadership on this vital issue—an issue close to God’s heart that is not about politics but practical ministry.