10 Things That Will Kill Your Church's Orphan Care Ministry: #9 Poor Connection

This is the 9th post in a series entitled “10 Things That Will Kill Your Church’s Orphan Care 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 more thing that will kill your orphan care ministry is: 

Poor Connection 

For orphan ministry to be effective, it has to be connected to the overall mission and vision of the church. There are TWO important reasons why:

  1. The mission of the Church isn’t alterable or debatable - Ultimately, the church’s mission is defined by Jesus, the head of the Church. What we do in and through the church we do under the rule and authority of Jesus because the church is His. The church’s mission is to make disciples because that’s what Jesus set us apart to do, and orphan care is part of that mission. We can’t lose sight of either priority. Not accounting for the sameness of the mission of every church found in the gospel will kill your church’s orphan ministry.
  2. Each church is set into a specific context. The time and place of its existence is part of what God uses to shape its unique vision. No two local churches will work to accomplish the mission of the universal Church the same way. That means that no two churches can accomplish orphan ministry the same way. Not being sensitive to the culture inside and outside your church and accounting for the uniqueness will kill your church’s orphan ministry.

How have you honored the timeless gospel mission while respecting your church’s uniqueness in building an orphan ministry? Let’s share some stories. Post them here.


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.