Church Resource Ministries: CRM is an International mission organization headquartered in Anaheim, CA whose purpose is to develope leaders to stregthen and multiply churches worldwide.
MULTIPLE LEVELS OF IMPACT THE REALLY BIG PROBLEM When I close my eyes I can see them. They are all children, over 10,000 of them. They are standing in a single file line that stretches beyond the horizon, and they are all waiting. Some have been waiting for years. Some of them are waiting with hopefulness, some with doubt, some with fear and some with resignation. But all of them are waiting for the same thing, a home and family to call their own. These are the children that inhabit Arizona’s foster care system. When I open my eyes and I look around I see churches, Christian churches, thousands of them. In fact, there are over 10,000 churches in Arizona. Some are small. Some are large. A few are very large. Each one is filled with families; fathers, mothers and their children who live together in the same house and walk together through the daily rhythm of events that inhabit their life. The vast majority of these families have no idea that the line of waiting children even exists, or if they do, they have no idea how they can help. When I open my Bible I see God’s Word. James 1:27 tells us this, “Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” God has called His church to meet the need of these waiting children. So, since God’s word is clear, and since He has raised up over 10,000 churches in Arizona, then why are there over 10,000 children in Arizona still waiting for homes? This is unacceptable.
THE REALLY GOOD NEWS In my January newsletter I shared how God was taking steps to solve this problem. I told of how God had begun to lay the foundation for a State wide coalition to be formed as a means of uniting the Pastors of Arizona together in an effort to connect each one of these children to a Christ centered family of their own. Well, I’m thrilled to announce that this coalition has been born. After only two meetings we have confirmed the support of nine churches, two Para-church ministries, Christian Family Care Agency (adoption/Foster care), the Department of Economic Security, the Center for Arizona Policy and the help of Focus on the Family. The name of the coalition is “No Child Waiting,” and I have been elected to serve as its Chairman!
HOW IS THIS A BLESSING TO OUR MINISTRY? Of course, as Chairman of this coalition my first responsibility is to ensure that we are successful in reaching our goal to provide Christ centered homes for every single one of these children. We intend to move forward in the power of God and empty Arizona’s foster care system of its waiting children, thus providing these kids with one of the most important and basic needs of their life. We know this is a reachable goal because a similar coalition in Colorado, called Project 127, has virtually emptied their foster care system in just a few years. So this will be my primary focus in my role as Chairman. However, as Team Leader of The Mission my role is to come alongside Pastors and other ministry leaders and teach them how to make disciples through missional engagement. We seek to form strategic partnerships with Pastors and other ministry leaders. Then, we show them how to immerse some of their members into serving the needs of a group of marginalized or suffering people. This then becomes their mission field, their form of missional engagement. Then we provide the leaders with the equipping, encouragement and any other resources they need to come alongside their members as they serve and teach them to reach others for Christ, as well as grow to maturity in their own relationship with Christ. We know that this is an effective means of making disciples because this is the example Jesus set for us in his own disciple making ministry. Jesus took His teaching out of the classroom and taught his disciples how to follow Him as they participated with Him in His mission. Now, here’s the blessing! When I was first asked to help launch this coalition I was asked to make the ministry of The Mission available to the Pastors who joined us. However, when I became the Chairman, God placed me in the most strategic position possible to make this request a reality. God willing, “No Child Waiting” will grow to involve hundreds of Pastors across the State. As Chairman I will have a unique opportunity to develop solid working relationships with each of them. Then, as our work in the coalition moves forward, hundreds of families will step out onto the mission field of providing foster care to these marginalized and suffering children. Their Pastors and lay leaders will need to be equipped to disciple them as they are involved in this important missional engagement. Then The Mission can come alongside them to provide the equipping and encouragement necessary to make them successful in this important task. I cannot think of a more strategic blessing for God to bestow on us in these early days of our ministry!
MULTIPLE LEVELS OF IMPACT Before I close this letter I want to share a powerful observation with you that I made as I pondered the importance of this blessing. Consider for a moment the magnitude of the importance of providing just one home for just one child. Now multiply that several thousand times, once for each child I believe God will place in a home through our efforts. That is one level of impact, one that is so huge it would be more than enough to make me want to serve on the “No Child Waiting” coalition. But that’s not all. Now consider for a moment the magnitude of the importance of equipping just one family to be more effective at sharing the unyielding love of Jesus Christ with others and maturing in their own walk with God. Now multiply that several thousand times, once for each family I believe God will call in to this important ministry. That’s another level of impact, one that is so huge it would be more than enough to make me want to serve in “No Child Waiting.” Now consider for another moment the magnitude of the importance of equipping just one Pastor or ministry leader to become highly effective at making disciples through missional engagement. Now multiply that several hundred times, once for each Pastor I believe God will call into this effort. That’s a third level of impact, one that has so much strategic significance it would be more than enough to make me serve on this coalition. But that’s not all. Now consider for a moment the practical needs of our State in its season of extreme financial hardship and the opportunity created by our Governor’s call on the church to help solve the problem of these waiting children. If the church chooses to respond to this need we will be relieving the Arizona taxpayers of the burden of providing $1 billion a year to support the swelling needs of our foster care system. That’s a fourth level of impact. So, for those of you who support The Mission financially, please be encouraged by the fact that every dollar you invest in our ministry helps equip a Pastor, disciple a family, provide a home for hurting child and takes a very practical step toward solving the budget crisis currently faced by our State. By God’s grace we are achieving multiple levels of impact!
Tune in Sunday for part 2!