Notes from the Road Three: A Pastor’s View of What Comes With Orphan Ministry

While in Peoria for speaking engagements last week, I had the privilege of sharing a cup of coffee and rich conversation with Daniel Bennett, pastor of Bethany Community Church. Daniel’s eyes light up when he speaks of seeking God’s glory; and it’s clear he means it, not merely as an abstract sermon topic, but as the natural bi-product of God’s people embodying His character through tangible love to orphans in their distress. “…That they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

I valued many of the things Daniel shared, but particularly jotted notes when he described the transformative impact he sees in his church as individuals engage adoption and orphan ministry. He expressed how waking to and acting upon God’s call to care for orphans really serves as a powerful agent of discipleship. “As our church grows excited about orphan ministry, I see people understanding the character of God more,” he explained. “I feel that we are coming to grasp the love of God more deeply.” He went on, “I also see it growing our understanding of biblical love—that it involves real sacrifice; it gives like God does to those who have no way to pay you back.” Finally, he noted, the impact spills out beyond the Church. “People outside our church that you never would have expected are intrigued, asking questions, because they’re seeing the adoptions and care for the foster kids. It really gives the church a more powerful testimony to the community.”