Church Ministry Essentials
Building Communities of Support
No one can walk this journey alone. In this module you will explore various aspects of community – from creating safe spaces centered around shared experiences for foster and adoptive parents to building practical and tangible systems of support around them.
In this module, we will explore the following topics:
Forming Community First
How to “Pave the Paths” of Your Ministry
Creating Smaller Circles of People (Love vs. Get)
Building Wraparound Teams for Your Families
Four Essential Pillars of Support
Below is a curated collection of some of the best resources on building communities of support. These resources are intended to serve you, not overwhelm you. Do not feel the pressure to work through all of them, but use them in a way that best helps you grow. For some modules it might mean plowing through them all, for others it might mean focusing on just a few!
Building Communities of Support
A Q&A session with Johnna Stein, Director of Training on the Care Community Model with Promise686.
Watch as Johnna answers some FAQ’s about building wraparound and support structures for foster and adoptive families.
"Say Yes": For a Wraparound Ministry
An inspirational piece on the importance of other people joining in with a foster family’s “yes.”
The Power of Wrapping Around
A story of how meaningful a group of support was to one foster family.
Working With and Supporting Foster and Adoptive Families
An interview with Jenn Hook, Executive Director of Replanted Ministries – a foster care and adoption support ministry.
Communities of Care
How one agency is helping provide communities of care for families.
We Are Here to Help You
How one church is being intentional about telling families, “You are not on an island alone; we are here to help you.”
Relational Support with Carly Souza
The Fostering Church Podcast
In episode 5 of The Fostering Church Podcast, the Jasons talk with Carly Souza, a foster and adoptive mom and the Director of Fostering Hope at Hope Church in Las Vegas. Carly and her team consistently serve hundreds of foster parents around the city by offering opportunities for them to be together, encourage one another and find the support they need to thrive on their journeys.
Tangible Support with Sarah Norris
The Fostering Church Podcast
In episode 4 of The Fostering Church Podcast, the Jasons talk with Sarah Norris, the leader of True Vine Ministries, the adoption and foster support ministry of her church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Sarah not only has experienced the power of others tangibly supporting her family through their adoption, but has helped build a robust and practical support ministry for families in their church and all around the Fort Wayne community.
Finding Adoption Support in Your Church
The Adoption Connection Podcast
In this episode, host Lisa Qualls interviews Jen Decker, who runs a thriving ministry for adoptive and foster parents at her church in Kansas City, Missouri. We discuss how parents can seek support and how churches can meet those needs.
Preparing Those Who Are Walking Alongside You
The Empowered Parent Podcast
The Empowered Parent Podcast hosts discusses resources and tools foster and adoptive parents can use to help educate and train friends and family around them on how to best serve, support and be aware of the unique journey they are on in fostering and/or adopting.
How Churches Can Support the Foster Care Community
The 95 Network Podcast
On Episode 20 of the podcast, we were grateful to connect with Jami Kaeb, Director of The Forgotten Initiative, a faith-based organization that exists to help people support the foster care community through awareness, encouragement, and advocacy.
Supporting, Loving and Going Above and Beyond for Biological Parents
The Forgotten Podcast
Jamie Finn started fostering because she wanted to “rescue kids who had terrible parents.” She was immediately humbled with her first placement when she realized that she wasn’t all that different than the biological parents of the child she was caring for—it was only the grace of God that separated her decisions from their decisions. God began to change her heart and her mission regarding foster care and biological parents.
Articles + PDFs
Ten Simple Ways Your Church Can Serve Foster Families
Ten simple, unique and diverse ways that a church can practically serve foster families within their body
Simple Gestures Make All the Difference
An article from Focus on the Family about how simple things can make a significant difference in the lives of foster and adoptive families.
Wrapping Around Foster and Adoptive Families
The goal of your church is not simply to start a peripheral ministry a few are involved in; it’s to establish a foundation culture of caring for orphaned and vulnerable children everyone has a role to play in.
FREE CHAPTER: “The Soil of Emotional Support”
A free chapter from Jenn Hook’s book, Replanted, a guide to faith based support for foster and adoptive families.
Everyone Can Do Something
Chapter 4: Articulating a Compelling Message
Chapter 5: Engaging the Whole of Your Church
Central to sharing the “everyone can do something” message is the development of a core strategy for how you will bring that message to bear to the whole of your church. What pathways will you build to carry your message to every member of your audience in a way they can hear, understand and respond to? How will you build structures that allow them to wrap around and tangibly and relationally support foster and adoptive families in your church and community? How will you encourage foster and adoptive families to lean into the support your ministry offers to mitigate feelings of being alone, weary and unable to carry on in this work God has called them to?
Action Guides and Exercises
MODULE FOUR ACTION GUIDE
Connecting People into Communities of Support
Take inventory of the opportunities and resources you have, and don’t yet have but need, in order to wraparound families well.
MODULE FOUR EXERCISE
Construct Your Pillars of Support
Clearly outline the various “pillars of support” that you have in your ministry, or would like to work towards building out more fully.
Use the categories to the right to identify what opportunities currently exist in your church for families to experience these various kinds of support, where there might be some gaps and how you can most effectively fill those gaps – either by creating something new or by collaborating with other churches/partners who might already be providing that layer of support to families in your community. The goal is to walk away from this exercise with a fully formed concept of what support can/will look like for families who foster or adopt in your church. Some of this might not yet be in place – and that’s okay – but we’re dreaming here, setting aspirations and identifying next best steps to take in order to get where we want to be.
This module’s resource spotlight is a book by Jason Johnson, CAFO’s National Director of Church Ministry Initiatives. It’s a collection of reflections on the foster parenting journey all filtered through the lens of the hope of the gospel. It’s designed to not just be read on your own, but fully utilized in the context of community. Group discussion guide questions accompany every chapter!
ReFraming Foster Care:
Filtering Your Foster Parenting Journey Through the Lens of the Gospel
Foster parents face a unique set of circumstances and experience a wide array of emotions that few can relate to. Their journey is one of equal parts beauty and brokenness, joy and heartache, excitement and exhaustion. There is no textbook on how to be a foster parent, no formula, no simple three-step guide. But there is hope-in God’s capacity to bring great beauty out of tragic brokenness. This is the gospel-the lens through which you can filter your foster parenting journey and ultimately find the strength, motivation, and courage you need to be sustained along the way.
Request a Coaching Session
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