Being a pro-life church
Karen Cole, Baptist Press
January 17, 2010

Being a pro-life church

Being a pro-life church
Karen Cole, Baptist Press
January 17, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Is your church pro-life? As a body, are you
encouraging each other not only to think in a pro-life way but also to act in a
pro-life way?

Undeniably, Christians have been the backbone of the pro-life movement since
its inception. If more churches would harness their membership and
organizational power on behalf of pro-life causes, however, perhaps the tide
could be turned in America and we would once again live in a society that values
every human life.

Let’s think about some practical ways your church members can be pro-life.

  • Teach your children

“Impress these words of Mine on your hearts and souls … teach them to your
children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along
the road” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19).

Explain to your children from an early age why human life is sacred. Impress
upon them that humans are made in the image of God, who loves and has a purpose
for every person. In age-appropriate ways, prepare them to defend the pro-life

  • Pray for a pro-life ministry

“In everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your
requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

The pro-life ministries in your area covet your prayers! Pregnancy care
centers, Baptist children’s homes, Christian nursing homes and adoption
agencies are just a few of the pro-life ministries that depend on God’s grace
and the prayers of His people. Most will joyfully provide you with a list of
their prayer concerns.

  • Support a pregnancy care center

“Rescue those being taken off to death, and save those stumbling toward
slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11).

Pregnancy care centers typically have a paid director and some paid staff, but
they could not function without an army of volunteers. If your church members
have skills such as nursing, sonography, counseling, fundraising, graphic
design, etc., your local pregnancy care center probably needs their help.

  • Establish a mentoring organization

“Whoever welcomes one little child such as this in My name welcomes Me. And
whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me, but Him who sent Me” (Mark 9:37).

The National Fatherhood Initiative reported that 23.3 percent of children lived
in single-mother families in 2006. Many single parents are eager to find
Christian role models for their children. In the past, parents looked to Big
Brothers Big Sisters of America; that organization now requires that every
local affiliate accept homosexuals as mentors. You could establish a Christian
mentoring organization within your congregation, being diligent to implement
measures to protect the children from abuse.

  • Provide relief for stressed caregivers

“Blessed are the merciful, because they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

Parents of special needs children and adult caregivers of the elderly or
disabled live in stressful environments. For some, everyday errands must be
scheduled when a relief caregiver is available, and the opportunity to attend
church is priceless. Perhaps Sunday School classes or other small groups could
share this responsibility. Some churches have had success with a regularly
scheduled monthly night of care and activities for special needs children and
adults, allowing a few hours away for their regular caregivers.

  • Support foster and adoptive families

“Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after
orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27).

Children across the United States and around the world are in need of families to be a
part of for a short while or a lifetime. Evangelical Christian social workers
have long lamented the lack of Christian foster and adoptive families, people
willing to share their homes, their hearts and their love for Christ with
vulnerable children. People in your church can form a loose fellowship or an
organized group to promote awareness of the needs and support the families who
make these children a part of their lives.

  • Remember senior adults

“You are to rise in the presence of the elderly and honor the old” (Leviticus 19:32).

The aging Baby Boomer generation coupled with advances in health care have
produced a growing senior population. Ministry to the senior adults in your
area will be a blessing to all involved. Make an effort to connect the younger
families in your church with the senior adults. Encourage them to keep in
touch, help with household tasks and errands, and share special days together.

  • Volunteer with a hospice

“Carry one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).

Many people find great fulfillment in giving their time to help improve the
lives of those who are terminally ill. Volunteers can provide companionship, do
light housekeeping or use their skills and talents to improve the quality of
life for both patients and their families.

  • Express your opinion

“You are the light of the world … let your light shine before men” (Matthew 5:14,16).

Issues regarding the sanctity of human life are constantly being debated in the
media and in local, state and federal government. These issues include
abortion, genetic engineering, stem cell research, reproductive technology,
sexuality education, marriage, child welfare, euthanasia and assisted suicide,
insurance regulations, etc. Keep your congregation informed of these issues and
provide contact information for your state and federal legislators, government
agencies and the media. The statement “All politics is local” is true because
people in politics usually are very sensitive to the people who voted them into
office. School boards have changed their policies on abstinence education because
one citizen took a stand, and legislators have been known to vote a particular
way on an issue because of just a handful of correspondence.

  • Give to the Psalm 139 Project

“For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s
womb” (Psalm 139:13).

The Psalm 139 Project gives women in crisis pregnancies a “window” into the
world of the children they are carrying by helping pregnancy care centers
secure sonogram machines. One hundred percent of the funds given to the Psalm
139 Project are used to purchase and place sonogram machines and for the
ongoing work of the fund. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty
Commission provides the administrative oversight as a part of its ongoing
Cooperative Program-funded ministry. Your tax-deductible gifts can be sent to
the “Psalm 139 Project,” c/o ERLC, 901 Commerce St., Suite 550, Nashville, TN 37203. An acknowledgment and proper accounting of your gift
will be provided. Visit psalm139project.org (where you can give online through
PayPal) or contact the ERLC (1-800-475-9127) for more information.

  • Celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

“A truthful witness rescues lives.” (Proverbs 14:25).

The Southern Baptist Convention observes Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on the
third Sunday in January. This date was chosen to both mourn the children lost
to abortion since the Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade in January 1973 and
remind us that there is much work to be done before all human life will once
again be cherished in America. Host a pro-life speaker on that Sunday and allow
local pro-life organizations to promote their work. A free bulletin insert can
be downloaded at www.ilivevalues.com/life and other materials may be purchased
at www.familybookstore.net.

“We just don’t have the influence we once did,” some pro-life Christians
lament. How does God expect us to remedy that situation? The answer is simple:
Go to work for Him. Whether you are a caregiver, mentor, prayer warrior or
parent with enough love for just one more, He is calling you to stand up for
Him. “Here I am” are words He is longing to hear.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Cole is an editor at the Ethics & Religious Liberty
Commission. Sunday, Jan. 17, is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday in the Southern
Baptist Convention.)

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