We want to help other churches and church leaders see what involvement in orphan care can look like across a variety of congregations. So, we will periodically post a highlight from different churches who are actively engaging in caring for the vulnerable children and families in their community.
First up is First Christian Church of Scottsburg, IN. Their lead pastor, Matt Craig (pictured with his family), answered some questions for us about how they are engaging in foster care and adoption. They are an Independent Christian/non-denominational church and have an average worship attendance of 550.
We hope you find some encouragement and inspiration to continue or start caring for hurting kids in your community.
Q: What are you doing to engage in adoption and foster care?
Matt: Since arriving at FCC 2 years ago and being a father to two adopted kids from the DRC; I wanted to let our story be part of the church’s story. I think everyone should be engaged with supporting, caring, and encouraging families of adoption/foster care. Our church has become partners with OCA, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), we have held multiple seminars that deal with TBRI training (trauma informed classrooms, etc). We believe that we should as a church be involved in the front lines of adoption and foster care - it’s a Biblical mandate.
We are supporting an international mission called Psalm 82:3 that is currently building an orphanage in Liberia. We send multiple people on short term mission trips to help and we financially support this ministry. It’s an amazing ministry. One of the founders is a member of our church.
We have also had contact and some support with an elderly orphan group (they care for elderly who have been “orphaned” who we meet at Wonder Valley Christian Camp last summer.
Q: Why did you decide to do this?
Matt: I suppose for two reasons. 1) I have two adopted kiddos and believe that 2) it’s a Biblical mandate to care for orphans. As a pastor, it’s my call to help equip our church for ministry and help our people understand the Word. I feel like the more information and knowledge that is out there will help make an impact for the Kingdom.
Q: How have you seen your people and church grow because of this?
Matt: We are early in the process of changing the culture here and I would like to say I’ve seen a great increase, but it’s been small, but there has been some movement in the area. We are not in this for the short term, but for the long haul and I know it takes time to change the mindset of people. A few of our people have been through the training and have had good results. The biggest growth has been in some of our schools that have had teachers get training with TBRI. It’s amazing.
Q: What would you say to a church/church leader who is on the fence about leading their church to engage in adoption and foster care?
Matt: I would say look to the heart of Christ and see if Jesus would be on the fence… that should answer their questions. All we need to do is be committed to the process and the first thing is get started. Preach a message on adoption - interview a family who has adopted - look to the heart of God and pray for God’s direction and wisdom.