While preaching and teaching are powerful tools we must do more.
- Joseph Parker
What should we do about the life issue? Should we preach or teach about it or should we avoid it so that we don’t hurt feelings and open old wounds? If we preach and address it, would people be offended? Should we avoid controversial issues such as the life issue and abortion? Shouldn’t we only preach and teach about culturally acceptable topics that will encourage people? These are questions and issues that the Church as a whole and the local church in particular should address.
We must preach and teach the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We are not called to condemn but to proclaim the truth to a world deceived by the darkness of lies. If we fail to preach and teach truth, people will be lost and ultimately die in their sins. So often important life decisions are based on what is deemed culturally and socially acceptable. But culture and society are usually deceived because they do not love or embrace the truth.
While preaching and teaching are powerful tools to wield, we must do more. We must also aggressively provide ministry to pregnant women in their time of need. What can be done? One solution is to vigorously come alongside the ministries of local pregnancy centers.
Many believers in the church are not aware of the powerful work pregnancy centers do in the local community. They provide a safe, loving, and warm environment for a woman in a crisis pregnancy. They love these women by providing wise and positive counseling that there are ways to get the help they need to keep their baby or lovingly place their baby up for adoption. They usually provide their services at no charge to the woman and often provide free baby items for the expecting mother to receive.
Many also are not aware that much evangelism, discipleship, and pastoral care is given to women and their families through the ministry of pregnancy clinics. A director of one pregnancy center in the Mississippi Delta shared with me that around five hundred persons had accepted Christ over the years. So the question becomes, how can the local church get involved?
For starters we can begin to see the local pregnancy center as an extension of the church. A church fellowship can wisely decide to do some or all of the following things to support, encourage and help the work of local pregnancy centers: 1) Pray daily and faithfully for the ministry of your local pregnancy center. Much spiritual warfare happens at these centers. 2) Give generously to the work of your local pregnancy center, either a single generous gift or place them in your church annual budget. 3) Regularly recruit and send volunteers from your church to help at your local pregnancy center. 4) Donate baby items for your local pregnancy center: diapers, baby clothes, baby accessories, etc. 5) Regularly, inquire about other ways your church fellowship can help.
Local churches can also prayerfully consider beginning or sponsoring a post abortion healing Bible Study. In view of the fact that one in every three or four women have had an abortion in our culture, the number of people who are hurting from this tragedy is staggering! The sheer number of abortions is such that it necessarily must touch every single congregation in the country! Not to seek to provide the ministry of forgiveness and healing for these men and women would be negligent on our part. Forgiveness and healing are born in the word of God…so start a Bible Study!
Finally, have creative events where the issue of life is addressed in a biblical, practical, and loving way. Host events that educate believers about this issue from a scriptural perspective. Use the Sanctity of Human life Sunday in January to do much spiritual education about this topic. Also, you could host a FESTIVAL FOR LIFE.*
These suggestions are only a few. There are many more things churches can do to intentionally and faithfully address the life issue. Pray for the Lord to guide you and your church family to do what He would have you do to faithfully to stand for life this year and beyond.
*(A Festival for Life is a multi – media, family friendly event that uses movie clips, music videos, and movie trailers to help to share a biblical message. Through this presentation we share about the need for the Church to biblically and aggressively 1) support the work of pregnancy clinics and 2) stand for life. These events are conducted by Urban Family Communications/American Family Association. If you are interested in bringing this event to your church or community, you may call us at 1–662–844–5036, Ext. 381.)