When Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Canton announced last year, on Orphan Sunday, that they were launching a foster care ministry in 2018, they weren’t sure what the response would be. They knew, though, what their calling was.
“We affirm God’s commands in Scripture to care for the orphan, and we realize that the church is the answer to the crisis,” said Chris Lowe, pastor to families and children and head of the foster care ministry.
It didn’t take long for Mt. Zion’s people to rally around the new foster care ministry.
“Our church has embraced it, and we saw over 80 people come to our first pair of Encounter trainings!” Chris said. “We currently have 11 signed up for foster/respite and we have over 30 support team volunteers.”
The ministry is also a personal one for Chris and his wife. Previously, they were FaithBridge foster parents through WeFoster at First Baptist of Woodstock.
“We love the Biblical basis that FaithBridge operates by and the Community of Care they have. That’s why Mt. Zion chose to partner with FaithBridge,” he said. “The trainings have been very informative for our people and FaithBridge has supplied us with marketing materials, which has been very helpful! Chuck Campbell, their director of Community of Care, has been beyond supportive in helping us launch the ministry.”
In order to engage the church as a whole in foster care ministry, Chris has used several strategies. On Orphan Sunday, he highlighted foster care through his sermon and announced the new ministry.
“We also have a table in our foyer with posters and flyers and even put up two laptops opened to FaithBridge’s site so people could sign up for training that way. We have slides rollings on TVs throughout our building advertising the ministry.” Chris said. “In addition, every Wednesday night my office is open for general info sessions from 6-6:30 for anyone who wants to come by and discuss the ministry.”
And Chris’s advice to other churches wanting to start a foster care ministry?
“One, launch it from the pulpit with the senior pastor as the biggest advocate. Two, have a solid ministry team in place that is passionate about the ministry and ready to take it on,” he said.
“In the words of one of Mt. Zion’s foster/adoptive families: ‘We believe in the Bible and the Bible says this is what Christians do’!”