10 Things That Will Kill Your Church's Orphan Ministry: #4 Not Celebrating Wins

This is the 4th post in this series entitled “10 Things That Will Kill Your Church’s Orphan Ministry.” This series is born out of several years of consulting with and observing many churches across America develop orphan care ministries. Over time, I have noticed some common mistakes that cause these ministries to struggle and even fail. Over the next few weeks, I want to share those observations with you in an effort to help and to stir a discussion about the good things being done to minister well in orphan care.

So, one final thing that will kill your orphan ministry is:

Not Celebrating Wins

In many churches whose orphan ministry fails or struggles one of the reasons is that the ministry is one of the best kept secrets in the church. No one really knows that the church is actually doing orphan ministry or the good things that the church is doing in Jesus name for orphans, and they won’t know unless we make an intentional effort to tell them.

We need to celebrate the good things that happen in orphan care through the church with the church. When there is a fundraising goal reached, we should acknowledge it and celebrate it. We should welcome adoptive families home and celebrate them. We need to celebrate sponsoring children and mission trips taken and prayer vigils, and lots of other things,

Why? I think there are several reasons:
It is an act of worship. When we celebrate a victory, it is an opportunity to thank God, to acknowledge His goodness and His care, and to give Him glory. We can be intentional about celebrating the God who gave the victory and in whose name it is accomplished.
It encourages those who participated or are participating. When we celebrate an adoption with a shower for the new addition, the family gets to feel loved and valued. When we celebrate reaching a child sponsorship goal, the organizing team is affirmed. Celebrating passes our blessing to those we are celebrating over.
It encourages others in the congregation to consider how God might have them to respond. Their response might be anything from prayer support to leading a major ministry initiative to adopting. Who knows, but seeing what God is doing through His church in these type celebrations has been the first place many people have begun to consider what God might be saying to them about responding to James 1:27.
How do you celebrate orphan care in your church? Let’s share some ideas.


Rick Morton

Father to three transnationally adopted children, Rick Morton’s dedication to orphans extends beyond his family. Coauthor of Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care, Rick and his wife are cofounders of international orphan-hosting ministry Promise 139, based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. An inspiring speaker, Rick shares God’s heart for the fatherless at many conferences for pastors as well as orphan-care conferences. He and his family live in the Greater Memphis area.