Every Child
4/8/14 at 10:16 AM 0 Comments

Journeys of Faith: Changing the Way Churches Do Ministry

text size A A A

Susie Reeder is the Minister of Missions at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, an adoptive mother, an advocate for orphan care, and a supporter of the Faith To Action Initiative.

The Faith To Action Initiative is a coming together of like-minded organizations to raise awareness of best practices in orphan care around the world. I’d like to tell you about how a study they provide has changed the life of my church.

As the mother of two adopted children, my personal passion was and is for orphans. But when I became the Minister of Missions at Snyder Memorial Baptist, I was careful not to make my passion for orphan care the church’s passion. I did, however, lead mission trips. During a 2012 trip to Moldova in Eastern Europe, we visited a state-run orphanage, and there I realized that orphan care is God’s passion. Therefore, orphan care should be a passion for every body of believers.

I led a 6-week pilot study called Journeys of Faith, part of the Faith To Action Initiative. Their goal is to move the church from simply supporting orphanages to providing community-based care for those affected by extreme poverty. This study, which focuses primarily on community-based orphan care in Africa, gave us a call to respond to the orphan crisis by engaging our church in providing care to vulnerable children.

Then for three weeks I replaced our church’s traditional Wednesday evening activities with education and training on missions, focusing on church participation and partnership. The three nights were dedicated to the three countries where we partner with organizations to make a difference: Myanmar, Kenya, and Haiti. We quickly realized we don’t always know what is best for the people we want to help, but if we are willing to learn from them, we can invest in them and bring about change.

One of the most significant things we learned is that most children do not become orphans because their parents die—most become orphans because their parents live in poverty and are unable to provide for them. We also learned that we can invest in the communities of other countries and even our own to decrease the number of orphans. Today our church is actively seeking ways to do that.

Hundreds of pastors, laypersons, ministry and mission team leaders, faculty and students have now found participation in a Journeys of Faith study group to be a great way to engage and learn together, and Faith To Action is currently looking for individuals to facilitate more groups around the information presented in their moving publication Journeys of Faith. You can organize a study group through your church, school, mission team, or with friends and family.

If you would like an opportunity to learn more about Faith To Action’s work and mission, or if you would like to start a Journeys of Faith small group study, please visit www.faithtoaction.org or email bcsinternational@bethany.org.

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).