7 Ways Your Church Can Serve the Fatherless

We talk a lot about churches serving the fatherless.

Sunday School classes discuss it and entire Orphan Sundays are dedicated to the topic.

But orphan care shouldn’t just be a ministry option within the church. It should be a mission of the entire body. What does it look like for the church as a whole to serve the fatherless on a regular basis?

Here are 7 ideas:

1. Pray.

The significance of depending on God for orphan care is that His love–and not our guilt–becomes our greatest motivation. Here at Lifesong, we are always looking for churches and individuals to join our prayer team. Would you consider praying with us?


2. Give.

Did you know that one of the greatest (if not the greatest) barriers to families in your church adopting is money? Whether you can only give a little or your church can give a lot, we’d love to serve you through a no cost church adoption fund so your families can access innovative funding tools and help bring their children home.


3. Encourage.

Galatians 6:2 instructs us to bear each other’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. One way the church can do this is by sponsoring orphans overseas. Writing letters to these precious children means more to them than we will ever know.


4. Participate.

To put it bluntly: There are a million ways to serve the fatherless in addition to adoption. Saying, “I am not called to adopt” does not disqualify you from taking part in caring for vulnerable children. We must move in mercy to put the eternal needs of others ahead of our temporal desires. Here is a practical list of advocate opportunities for you to consider. What else belongs on this list? What can your church do?


5. Organize.

Often within churches, there are pockets of people who care for the fatherless and want to serve orphans. As individuals, this task can feel daunting. As a church, however, the job is much more manageable.  Over 500 churches partner with us at Lifesong to do this, and many of these have established vibrant orphan care ministries.


6. Mentor.

One of the scariest words in the English language is “mentor.” Few, if any of us, feel competent to instruct someone else how to live. But in the world of caring for the fatherless, you have something to offer or James 1:27 would have made exceptions. Consider becoming a foster care advocate in your community or seek out families in your church who are adopting or fostering and encourage them. Truly, a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver (Proverbs 25:11).


7. Go.

Take a short-term ministry trip if your church offers one. Engage in a family-friendly Bible study or ministry opportunity where you can serve children and families in your community. Maybe you aren’t in a season of life where you can give months or years of full-time service, but investing a word of encouragement to someone in your church who is fostering or adopting could yield eternal rewards you know nothing about in this lifetime.

Psalm 68:5 says that God is a father to the fatherless, meaning we, as the church, have an incredible privilege—to care for the kids who are closest to His heart! Let’s do this together!