Life Matters recently reached out to a number of pregnancy care centers to participate in a survey. Surveys are not exciting, so we thank each one who took part.
The goal of the survey was to identify the needs of pregnancy care centers and pro-life ministries as told by the individual. There were enough commonalities to draw some conclusions and formulate a proposed solution.
If we could gather all of you in the same room, many of the same organizational grievances would immediately fill the space, but the internal, personal, struggles would remain but whispers. Those whispers are where the real health assessment can (should) be conducted.
Your team is only as strong as your weakest link. That’s what I learned in the Army. My belief is that the phrase isn’t exclusive to the Army. How can Life Matters Worldwide help you as the individual and the organization?
We are proposing a model of ministry support that connects churches with a nearby pro-life ministry. Each ministry would have a number of churches that agree to provide support from a list of needs produced by the ministry. Some ministries may only need one church, others may require many. Representatives of each organization meet, not only to make an agreement, but to begin a relationship.
Some of you read the previous words and fast-forwarded because you already have a similar system in place. Our challenge to you as a PCC leader would be to ask your staff these questions: Do they feel lonely in your work? Is their pastor/church engaged in what they do? How are they doing spiritually? Do they feel lonely?
Then ask yourself: Do you have an open door to your supporting churches? How often do they visit you? How are those churches blessing your ministry? How healthy are those relationships? Are those relationships a struggle? Your initial answers reveal the reality of your situation.
Christians are told to shoulder one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2), and to help those of us who are in need (Acts 2:45, 4:34). We believe that the church...the regular gathering...the Body of Christ should be any ministry’s first stop for any resources. So why are Christians, and Christian ministries still in need?
How often have you set out to begin a thing, only to find it undone some time much later? We are too easily pulled in other directions, motivated by the urgency of immediacy. Our intentions may usually be good and more results-intended, but life gets in the way. Life Matter's proposal for ministry support is intentional and direct. It is an agreement, not an understanding.
When we are specific in our communication with one another, the outcomes can be anticipated and managed. Life Matters seeks to help you alleviate your stressors by connecting you with your local churches. Within their collective reach can be found the relief.
Imagine the effect on your community if local church youth groups routinely toured and volunteered with you. What if Bible study groups regularly volunteered, of if church leaders agreed to give you a rotating spot on their calendar? What if small groups adopted a one of your staff members, or an entire church agreed to fight for and contribute to your success (individually and organizationally)? What if you were given a platform to speak in several churches?
There are many more possibilities, perhaps too many to list. What would greater church involvement look like for your PCC?
For far too long the gap between the church and ministries on our soil has widened. There is a sentiment among us that “that sounds good, someone else will do it.” We believe that the individuals within the Body of Christ are the ones responsible for ensuing that it gets done.
Let us say goodbye to the days of throwing money at good ideas, and put our bodies and energies to the work that has been placed before us. You may not have the time to visit these churches and get the relationships started. We seek to do that for you; to be your advocate.
Life Matters is looking for the day when pro-life ministries are bursting with resources and support, when the local churches know more about what you do than a brief spotlight on a Sunday morning can yield. Would you allow us the opportunity to embark on this journey with you? Let us know.
Phone (616) 257-6800
Kevin Manning is Director of Operations for Life Matters Worldwide. He combines his degree in Music, decade of service in the US Army (including tours of duty in Korea and Afghanistan), sales and customer service experience, the problem-solving and exact standards from violin luthiery background to ensure Life Matters maintains the organizational and structural integrity of the mission.