By Daniel Darling
You’ve seen the staggering number of abortions that happen every year in America. You’ve watched the horrifying YouTube videos that expose abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. You are frustrated with the inaction you see at the state and federal levels of government. So what do you do?
What you may not realize is that there is much good you can do for the cause of life in your own community. Here are five things you can do to become a champion for human dignity in your church.
Read and study the issue. Do you know the moral and theological reasons for your position? It’s helpful to study up on the issue, not simply from a political perspective, but from a gospel, kingdom-centered point of view.
Christians champion human dignity because every person was created in the image of God. (See Gen. 1:26.) Every life matters because every life was knitted in the womb by the Creator. (See Ps. 139.)
Before you become an activist on behalf of the unborn, it is important to develop a holistic, pro-life perspective. Some good resources are Why Pro-Life? by Randy Alcorn, The Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf, and Women on Life by Trillia Newbell. Some helpful websites are ERLC.com and FocusOnTheFamily.com.
Have a discussion with your pastor. Most pastors are eager to find someone in their church as a point person on the sanctity-of-life issue.
Schedule a meeting with your pastor, and ask him how you can serve the church in both educating the congregation on human dignity issues and also serve as a liaison to pro-life organizations in the community.
The best approach is not to say, “You need to be active on this issue,” but rather, “How can I help us champion life here in our community?”
Curate and develop good pro-life resources. Find the best pro-life resources that are easy to understand and make them available in a way that is accessible for the average church member.
You might even work with your pastor to schedule a forum on this issue or to arrange to have a pro-life speaker address the church on Sanctity of Life Sunday (third Sunday in January).
Busy church members are looking for ways to be equipped and educated on important issues like this.
Develop a pregnancy care ministry. The reality is that in your community today, there are vulnerable young women who are contemplating what to do with their unexpected pregnancy.
Each one is scared to tell loved ones and unsure of how she will be able to raise a child. The one place in the community where she should find hope is the church. Is your church a lighthouse?
One way to do this is to look for and partner with existing pregnancy care ministries in your community and come alongside them. If you are looking for a center in your neighborhood, visit Care Net’s online directory of centers (care-net.org), or find additional help from Focus on the Family’s Operation Ultrasound Program (HeartLink.org).
If there isn’t a pro-life ministry in your neighborhood, maybe God is calling you to start one.
Not only can your church provide gospel hope, but it can also meet physical needs by providing diapers, formula, and other baby necessities. You can offer parenting and counseling classes.
Most of all, you can send the message that the church will be there for the mother and her child long after the baby is born.
Support and get involved with the growing adoption movement. Today in America, thousands of young children are waiting for a home, and yours might meet the need of at least one of them.
The people of God are called to serve the widows and orphans among us. A great place to start getting information is Christian Alliance for Orphans. You should also read Jim Daly’s Finding Home or Russell Moore’s Adopted for Life.
You might arrange meetings with your local city and county governments and social service agencies to discover the full scope of the need. You might, then, arrange a series of informal meetings at church to inform interested families. Together you can work to build an adoption culture.
Live out the gospel in your community by working to inform, educate, and build a culture where human dignity is championed. It’s important for Christians to be pro-life, not simply on the issue of abortion but to see the image of God in every human being.
Do what you can for life, and watch God bring about eternal results.
DANIEL DARLING (@DanDarling) is the vice president of communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He is also a speaker and author of several books, including The Original Jesus: Trading the Myths We Create for the Savior Who Is.