Ways Your Church Can Advocate for Children
“Jesus called for the children… ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.” Luke 18:16
As churches, we often wonder what we can do that will make a difference in the life of a child. Here are some excellent ministry opportunities that any church of any size can do:
In your community:
- Mentor a child, provide after school tutoring, collect school supplies, warm coats, hats and gloves or help with a backpack ministry.
- Many children do not have food in the evenings, on weekends or over school holidays. See if your local school system provides backpacks of food for those critical times. Organize a food drive or offer to sort and pack donations.
- Check with your local school district’s resource staff to see how you can best help.
- Check out other ways to partner with schools with Wesley Theological Seminary’s Lewis Center for Church Leadership resource, “Engaging Local Schools.” You can find this through their website, www.churchleadership.com
- CASA – volunteer to be a Court Appointed Special Advocate and be the voice for a child involved in the court system
- Angel Tree Ministry seeks to provide Christmas gifts for children who have a parent or parents who are incarcerated during the holidays. Check with your district office to see if churches in your area are already involved in this ministry. Learn more at www.prisonfellowship.org/programs/angel-tree
In our state:
- There are 15 Children’s Advocacy Centers located throughout the commonwealth where child victims of sexual abuse can receive help with healing and recovery. Go to www.kacac.org to find the center near you and see how you can help
- Visit www.blueprintKY.org to find out about legislation being proposed to benefit Kentucky’s children. Sign up there for action alerts to be notified about upcoming votes. You can find additional information at www.kyyouth.org/waystoact/.
In our world:
- The United Methodist Children's Fund for Christian Mission allows you to be in mission across state lines or around the globe -- from within your local church. Learn about and raise money for projects selected annually by the General Board of Global Ministry through teaching activities developed by GBOD. Money raised is distributed equally by GBGM among the specially chosen projects. Learn more at www.umcmission.org.
- UNICEF seeks to aid and advocate for children in the midst of violence, poverty and natural disaster all over the world. Learn more at www.unicef.org.
- Church World Service encourages religious groups, businesses, schools and others participate in or to organize a CROP walk in your community to help end hunger in North America and around the world. Learn more at www.cwsglobal.org.
- Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse which seeks to show God’s love to children by providing a shoebox of gifts to children all over the world. Find out more at www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child
- Heifer International works to help end hunger and poverty and seeks to care for the Earth. They have many resources to be used with children. Their website is www.heifer.org.