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The Church's Call

We find the great call to the church in James 1:27 which states: “Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Pastors and leaders are not only to announce, teach, and preach this call, but they are to lead by example and encourage obedience.  

 

A church will value what its pastor values; therefore, the best person to make the call for orphan care, assemble the people, and model the response is the pastor. When the pastor validates the mission, he/she can then invite other ministry staff or lay leaders to lead implementation.

 

Harvest Family Life engages with churches throughout the state of Texas and abroad in effort to raise awareness, and then equip and empower them for implementing effective orphan care ministries in partnership with their local child protective service offices, placement agencies, and community resources. 

We begin church engagement by hosting various trainings at our campus in Dallas, inviting pastors to Clergy Community Advisory Boards (CCABs), taking pastors to court through our Clergy in Court initiative, promoting Stand Sunday, and by raising Pastoral Ambassadors. 

Clergy Community Advisory Board  

A Clergy Community Advisory Board (CCAB) is a network of pastors and individuals in church leadership that meet monthly to discuss needs related to children and families in crisis in their communities.  The focus is on raising awareness and creatively and strategically addressing child welfare & community needs. When communities don’t have high proportions of children and families in crisis, clergy are encouraged to join CCABs in communities that do.

 

Currently there are CCABs in Brownwood and San Antonio, Texas, and in Hawaii. We are currently forming a CCAB for South Dallas as part of our South Dallas initiative as well as one for Ellis County.

 

Click here if you are interested knowing more, joining or forming a CCAB in your area. 

Clergy in Court

Clergy in Court is an initiative developed by Harvest Family Life in conjunction with CPS in order to introduce clergy and leaders from faith communities to the plight children in the child welfare system face everyday. In the court room, clergy will hear stories and testimonies, and also see the faces of dear children so desperate for love. In the court room, clergy will be awakened to the needs of children either in their own communities or just miles away. We believe that once pastors understand the gravity of this local crisis, they will be driven to lead their churches in intervention. 

Are you ready to go to court? 

 

Click here to learn more and schedule your court date!

Stand Sunday

Since 2004, churches throughout the US and around the world have dedicated the second Sunday of November to praying for and calling church members to respond to the need for orphan care in one’s own community. 

 

Will your church stand together with us this year on Sunday, November 14?

 

Stand together until there is more than enough for kids and families in foster care…

More than enough foster homes for every child in care to have an ideal placement.

More than enough adoptive homes for every waiting child to have a family.

More than enough help for biological families who are trying to stay together and trying to get back together.

More than enough support from the church for foster, adoptive, and biological families.

 

To learn how you and your church can participate in Stand Sunday and access helpful resources, click here.

Pastoral Ambassadors

“We are therefore Christs’ ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God…(2 Cor. 5:20).

We do not believe “welfare” to be a program of the church. Instead, we believe it to be the Church, and it is experienced when the Gospel is applied through service. Our purpose here on earth is to be reconciled to the Father and take on the ministry, or the message of reconciliation and to become ambassadors carrying that life changing news in word and deed. 

 

Being a Pastoral Ambassador means helping inspire others to have the same grace-laced love for the spiritually and physically orphaned, as God has had for us. A Pastoral Ambassador is a pastor who will lead and seed their ministry knowledge of orphan care not only to their own church but also to other churches in their area.

There is no better person to represent the orphan than a pastor who sees the need and accepts the call from God to love “the least of these” well. Harvest Family Life raises Pastoral Ambassadors who will be purposed to end the orphan crisis in their communities and/or in partnership with other churches where the need is great. 

Click here to learn more about becoming a Pastoral Ambassador.

Harvest Family Life exists to engage,

equip and empower

the Church to care for vulnerable children and their families. We are committed to walk every step with every church longing to see the orphan crisis eradicated in their region. We have six key elements in our equipping & empowering process that include:

01

Church assessment

After you complete the online church assessment and meet with our team for evaluation, we'll present the needs of your community, introduce potential partnerships, and help you determine when, where, and how to get started caring for vulnerable children and families in your own community and possibly beyond. The assessment simply helps us know your church and community better. 

02

HOST stand sunday

Stand Sunday is traditionally obeserved the second Sunday of November and is an opportunity to raise awareness of the US orphan crisis and engage church members in caring for vulnerable children and families. Churches typically show a video, share a testimony, gather in prayer, and invite church members to an upcoming "Next Steps" type of gathering for sharing how everyone can do something. 

Click here to learn more about Stand Sunday

03

Create a
careportal response team

But how will the churches meet and supply the practical needs, and eventually share the gospel with the vulnerable children and families in their communities? Through utilizing the CarePortal - a technology platform that connects the church to a child in need. 

04

Join a CCAB
(Community Clergy advisory board)

After joining a CCAB, you will have the opportunity to learn from and partner with other Christian church leaders and community based programs such as CASA, DFPS, and trusted Child placement agencies. 

05

DEVELOP COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS

No two communities are exactly the same. Harvest Family Life helps churches learn more about their communities and serve them well and/or connect with other churches in neighborhoods of more significant child welfare needs. We have an array of programs we've found to be effective in fostering lasting relationships between children and families in need, churches, and the community.