Today I’ve invited Amy Ford to share a special guest post. As we strive to love and serve all of the women in our churches and communities, there are groups of women that we may struggle to reach. Amy offers ideas and resources for the church to care for women with unplanned pregnancies. I pray you and your team will find them valuable. – Cyndee
I’ve heard it say that, “The church is the hope of the world.”
I’ve also noticed that all the women with unplanned pregnancies that our organization serves seem to have one common feeling, and this feeling propels abortion rates: HOPELESSNESS.
What if we could tie these 2 together somehow and change the abortion rate.
The church can be a beacon of hope for women with unintended pregnancies.
With experiencing my own unplanned pregnancy 20 years ago and seconds away from having an abortion of my own, I believe firmly that abortion statistics would drastically decrease if the church had been an option for me to go to for help.
Having support systems for women with unplanned pregnancies in churches as well as creating strong partnerships with your local pregnancy centers can be the hope that a young mom needs to choose life. Pro-life is a stance but pro-love is an action. Having a pro-love approach will not only save the baby physically but maybe even save the mom eternally. We can create an opportunity to share the gospel and introduce them to a Prince of Peace that cares so much for them.
But unfortunately in some churches, I still see some advocate pro-life and say that abortion is wrong, but when a girl in their congregation chooses life and resists abortion, some churches then turn their backs on them or ask them to leave during their pregnancy or leave youth group.
What if we made the church the first place a young woman ran to when she found out she was pregnant? (Instead of away from because of shame and guilt.)
What if we stopped being so loud about what we are against but became famous for our LOVE and what we are FOR? If we just talk about being pro-life without love in action, we are just a clanging cymbal. We can be pro-love and not just pro-birth.
A church without the broken is a broken church.
Having support systems set in place like an Embrace Grace group, you are letting your church know that you don’t love the sin, but you love the sinner no matter what. And the baby is never a sin. A baby is a miracle.
Embrace Grace inspires and equips the church to love on single and pregnant young women and their families. We have a 12-week curriculum (Digital Video and Study Guide) that churches use in a small group setting that teaches about God’s grace and love. We want them to understand that their value and identity comes from God alone and that God loves them so very much. We are seeing many salvations and transformations, as well as babies being saved! The churches make the community aware that they have opened their doors and hearts, even partnering with local pregnancy centers so that the mommas know they are welcome to come to the church for support. Embrace Grace is the bridge into the church and the church becomes the hands and feet of Jesus. It’s amazing to see the movement spreading!
There are many ways your church can make a difference in a woman with an unplanned pregnancy’s life even beyond having an Embrace Grace support group. Have a single parent family ministry, mentor a single mom, grab your small group and serve at your local pregnancy center or maternity home, make loving and encouraging signs to hold outside an abortion clinic that might inspire a life decision. The pro-life movement is filled with love and opportunity. The possibilities are endless. God has put certain strengths, gifts, talents, and passions within you so that you can use them to change the world. There is something unique inside of you that equips you to help unlike any other person.
People are the church. The church isn’t a building. We are the church wherever we go, and we represent Jesus wherever we are. The church can play a powerful role in saving lives. If all of us work together, we can empower women to be brave and choose life. We would be blessing future generations because brave moms raise brave kids!
Being proactive with a pro-love approach within your church, you will have front row seats to miracles! Your members will want to get involved. You will see hearts be revived and come alive. Families are being restored. God can use a baby to woo His precious sons and daughters closer to Him and they start to understand God’s love.
We are invited to partner with God, letting Him work in and through us to be the hope of the world. Together we can change the world and make abortion unthinkable!
For information about Embrace Grace or for information about starting a support group at your church, go to www.EmbraceGrace.com
Amy Ford is the President of Embrace Grace, Inc., a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of providing curriculum and leadership support for churches nationwide to open their arms to young women with unplanned pregnancies. Embrace Grace is utilized by over 700 churches across the nation and world. She is also the author of A Bump in Life: True Stories of Hope & Courage during an Unplanned Pregnancy (affiliate link) and Help Her Be Brave: Discover Your Place in the Pro-Life Movement set to release in January 2021. Amy resides in Arlington, Texas and has been married for 22 years and has 4 beautiful children.