Building Church Orphan Ministries

50 Ideas for your Orphan or Stand Sunday

Is your church new to Orphan Sunday or Stand Sunday and you need ideas to create your first event? Or, has your church been doing Orphan Sunday for many years and you need fresh creativity? Either way, this is for you! You will leave this workshop with your hands full of many great, easy to execute, and meaningful ideas that will help to make this event have impact in your church – and for orphans and foster children! Our team will take you through the best ideas from the last 10 years of this amazing movement. Handouts and visuals will be provided to get you started.

(Jodi Jackson Tucker & Michelle Vernon, CAFO)

Care Community Wrap Around Care

Learn how to launch and maintain Care Communities that serve foster, adoptive, and kinship families – a proven model for retention. Discover how to intentionally serve your families with committed volunteers serving in specific roles.

(Johnna Stein, Promise686)

Church and State Partnerships in Foster Care

Let’s be honest – whether you are a social worker or a member of the faith community, you have a least some reservations about working with “the other side.” Learn from those who have seen great results from these vital partnerships and have lived to tell about it. Hear seasoned veterans talk about initial reservations, successes, and missteps – all of which will help you gain confidence as you move ahead for the sake of the kids. This session is ideal for child welfare professionals, non-profit leaders, and church ministries.

(Tom Lukasik, 4 Kids of South FL; Rhonda Littleton, A Home for Me; Felicia Mason- Edwards, DFPS TX; Ryan Kelly, America’s Kids Belong)

Church Ministry Idea Exchange

We’re far better together than we are alone. We simply cannot effectively lead our ministries with the effectiveness and impact required without leaning into and borrowing from the ideas and experiences of others. The broader CAFO community of church leaders represents a vast well of knowledge and wisdom from real-life leaders, doing real-life work, in real-life churches, with real-life people. It’s a deep well that we can all both draw from for ourselves – as well as give into for the sake of others. That’s the goal of this unique workshop – to create an interactive environment in which you can both have questions about church and ministry leadership answered, as well as have the opportunity to help guide others who need to tap into your experiences. This is not your typical workshop with a speaker or panel up front. Instead, it’s a roundtable environment where you’ll be able to sit with others, share ideas, and then move around the room to have specific questions answered and ideas stirred. Come with your questions. Come ready to meet some other CAFO church community leaders. Come ready to walk away with practical next steps you can take back home to your church or ministry.

(Jason Johnson, CAFO)

Churches Engaging in Orphan Care Must Prepare to Engage in a Gospel of Justice

The work of justice, when it comes to vulnerable children, means the Church seeking to advocate for vulnerable and orphaned children within the church’s immediate community – and globally. As churches grow their orphan care ministries within, there are many unforeseen aspects we will need to address within our churches. Trauma, special needs, transracial families, and/or refugees seeking asylum (specifically unaccompanied minors at the border). This workshop will help you understand the role of the Church and how our churches can engage seeking justice for vulnerable children and families.

(Renaut van der Riet, Mosaic Church)

Collaborating with Multiple Churches (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Developing Effective Leaders

Using interactive and experiential learning, participants will learn proven principles of leadership and organizational development that can immediately be implemented in order to enhance mission impact in serving orphaned and vulnerable children and their communities.

(David Rudko, Providence World & Jerry Burch, Texas A&M-Commerce)

Discipleship and Foster Care

Even though foster care is not mentioned directly in the Bible, it is one of the greatest opportunities for churches to direct a discipleship making movement. Come learn how a Biblical effort in your church, intentionally targeted at child welfare, can produce those who depend more on Jesus. Intentional experiential pathways of deepening opportunities can help put faith into action – while also seeing a transformation of a community. For child welfare practitioners, come learn from experts in faith engagement on how your desire to get more families from churches can lead to the detriment of what is best for the Church.

(Chris Campbell, 111Project)

Empowering the Church to Serve Foster & Adoptive Families (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Finding Your Ministry Niche (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Growing Your Family Advocacy Ministry (FAM) (Coaching Table)

Learn how to intentionally grow a Family Advocacy Ministry (FAM) at your church that has the potential to serve all types of families including foster, adoptive, biological, kinship and Safe Families.

Coach: Johnna Stein, Promise686

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Helping Families in Crisis (Coaching Table)

Step one in effective ministry is equipping parents for service, step two is helping them in times of crisis.

Coach: Ryan North, One Big Happy Home

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Hosting a Respite Night (Coaching Table)

Join this discussion on the challenges we may face and support we should have in place to host a safe and effective Respite Night at your church or ministry.

Coach: Hannah Mabie, LSW, Colonial Presbyterian Church

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

How to Get an Adoption/Foster Care Ministry Started at Your Church?

This workshop is for anyone who wants to work on getting an adoption and foster care ministry started at your church. Regardless of church size or budget, this workshop is for you. You will leave with steps to take to get something started in your very own church and community.

(Kasi Pruitt, Lake Pointe Church)

How to Shape a Trauma Informed Church Ministry (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Leading a Small Group for Foster & Adoptive Caregivers (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Mobilizing Your Church for Justice and Mercy (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Orphan Care as Part of a Church Discipleship Strategy

Mobilizing Christians into caring for orphans is first and foremost a discipleship issue. In the modern evangelical church, the mandate to care for orphans has been woefully under communicated. In this workshop, participants will address a practical, comprehensive strategy for integrating care for orphans and vulnerable people into the discipleship strategy of the local church. Participants will identify the critical issues in developing a discipleship strategy that addresses orphan care – as well as learning of practical tools to implement in the local church for personal, small group, and corporate discipleship.

(Rick Morton, Lifeline Children’s Services)

Practical Guidance for Planning Your Orphan/Stand Sunday Event (Coaching Table)

Are you interested in using Orphan/Stand Sunday as a tool to engage your church or community and don’t know where to start? Speak to a seasoned pastor about the power of Orphan Sunday and get your questions answered about everything from seeking approval to available resources to implementation, for any size congregation or group.

Coach:Eric Mills, CAFO Orphan Sunday

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

ReFraming the Struggle: Finding Strength When Things Are Hard

Foster and adoptive parents face a unique set of challenges and circumstances that are most meaningfully understood and experienced through the lens of God’s truth. This session will help you “reframe” some thinking through those experiences along your journey in a helpful and sustaining way. We’ll explore how to handle our own perceived weaknesses, what to do when you feel like quitting, and how to more deeply understand the spiritual nature of the work we are doing. If you’ve ever found yourself alone with your own thoughts, fears, hopes, concerns, and anxieties along this journey of fostering and adopting, then this workshop is for you. You’ll be encouraged, inspired, and reinvigorated to take your next best steps forward.

(Jason Johnson, CAFO)

Saying, “No” to Good Ideas In Order to Do Great Things

The needs of vulnerable children and families are overwhelming. How do we stay focused on the ways in which we are best suited to serve as individuals and organizations? This session will address some of the typical challenges and provide you with tools for saying, “No” to the good things in order to do some great things.

(Blaine Hamilton, Southeast Christian Church & Laura Mobley, Traders Point Christian Church)

Short-Term Missions: Keeping Partners Engaged

Short term missions can accomplish many purposes both for the goer and sender. One of those primary reasons can be to reach new partners and keep current partners engaged. This is a valuable and admirable goal; however, we also know that children are never a means to an end. So, how do we identify solutions for keeping partners engaged through STMs that eliminate risks to vulnerable children and families? Learn from three organizations who have walked this road and found successful solutions.

(Kate Borders, World Orphans; Laura Horvath, Helping Children Worldwide; Stacie Ellinger, Children In Families)

Shrinking the Problem: Three Simple Ways to Engage “Crisis”

Sometimes the problem feels really big, and our people feel really small. They don’t know where to start, what to do, or if they can really make a difference at all in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children. And if we’re honest, sometimes as leaders we don’t know what to do or where to start either. In this workshop, you will discover language, strategies, and tools you can use to help your people grasp and engage with the big and complex issues of orphaned and vulnerable children in simple, practical ways. As a leader, you will walk away with a plan of action, a new framework of language, and some clear and simple next steps you can immediately implement in your ministry that will help move your people from feeling paralyzed to empowered. If you have a passion to see more people in your church step into this ministry with clarity and confidence, then this workshop is for you.

(Jason Johnson, CAFO)

Spiritual Formation Practices for Support Groups

What if your support group could offer more than just support for the difficult journey of foster care and adoption? What if you could pursue health and healing for your souls together? In this workshop, we will look at various spiritual formation practices that can help you understand where God is in the pain and what He may be doing in you through the journey.

(Duane and Amy Sherman, Vulnerable Children Support Group Leaders)

Teaching Kids to Bounce Back!

Resilience can be learned – and research shows that it is the key to healing from hard times and for facing future challenges. Join us for “Helping Kids Bounce Back!” – an interactive workshop to learn practical skills and tools for providing childcare programs to kids with emotional and behavioral challenges. You will learn important safety considerations, scheduling do’s and don’ts, and fun activities that teach kids that they can “bounce back” from hard times.

(Deb Lukasiewicz, Finally Home)

The Actively Engaged Church in Foster Care

You’re leading a foster care ministry in your church and there’s no shortage of opportunities and needs. “What” you are doing is so, so important. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself the question, “How are we doing?” It’s not about activity, it’s about effectiveness. Are we engaging in the right places – in the most impactful places – and is our ministry growing in the most healthy and needed places? These are the questions we will explore together in this workshop – where we’ll unpack six key pillars of what an “actively engaged church” in foster care looks like. You’ll walk away more connected with other leaders like you – more inspired to do the work God has called you to do and more confident in what the next best steps are for your church’s foster care ministry.

(Jason Weber & Jason Johnson, CAFO)

The Church’s Role in Putting Protective Factors in Place for Reunifying Families

Children in foster care are going home, but many are re-entering care too. This type of “bouncing” wreaks havoc on kids and their families. When looking at the reasons for recidivism in foster care, it is clear that the Church can play a primary role in providing protective factors for at-risk families. This workshop will share a church model of engagement with biological parents in the foster care system, while examining risk factors for children’s re-entry to care.

(Traci Newell, Lifeline Children’s Services)

Three Things You Can Always Do (Even When You Feel Like You Can’t Do Anything)

Are you ready to take your ministry to the next level? Or do you feel stuck and aren’t sure what to do next? This workshop is for church ministry leaders who are ready to move beyond their perceived limitations and create a thriving ministry in their church.

(Laura Mobley, Traders Point Christian Church)

Training Your Childcare Staff to be Trauma Informed

One of the challenges of foster adoption ministry is incorporating children from hard places into the church’s children’s programming. Come learn how to equip your children’s ministry team to embrace and minister to children from hard places.

(Jen Decker, Westside Family Church)