Many pastors are not aware of the great work pregnancy centers are doing in their community and how their church can help support. Partnering together can have a greater impact on lives saved.
I was talking with a pastor recently about the pro-life ministry I lead called Embrace Grace and shared how we inspire and equip the church to love on single and pregnant young women and their families. He asked questions about how the ministry works and where the church would find the pregnant moms in their community that need support. That’s when I started talking about the pregnancy centers within just a few miles from his church and what they do. He had never heard of them.
I have come to realize that many pro-life pastors and even church members do not know what a pregnancy center is or understand what they do. They might have an idea about it but haven’t taken the time to really ask questions and find out.
Church… in case you didn’t know, pregnancy centers are amazing!
They are doing the hard work in your community, serving on the front lines by rescuing women and their preborn children. They are bringing comfort to them in their greatest time of need and they are empowering them to be the mothers that God created them to be, whether the moms choose to parent or place for adoption.
What pregnancy centers do
Pregnancy Centers are local, non-profit organizations that provide compassionate support to women and men faced with difficult pregnancy decisions. There are thousands all over the nation that offer free services like pregnancy testing, information about pregnancy options, resources for help in their communities, and post-decision support like parenting education and abortion recovery groups. Many give out free diapers and wipes to mommas in their communities that are in need and have boutiques with gently used baby items that the moms can access as needed. Some pregnancy centers even offer consultations with licensed medical professionals, ultrasounds for pregnancy confirmation and STD testing – all free!
The sonogram machines in pregnancy centers are such a great tool to help save lives. Focus on the Family’s Option Ultrasound program provides grants for sonogram machines to pregnancy centers. Since 2004, over 459,000 moms have chosen life through the work of their program!
There is nothing more emotionally connecting than the sight of the baby kicking and moving on the screen or hearing the baby’s little heartbeat. Many of my sonogram technician friends say they see so often the initial panic in a young woman’s eyes turn into tenderness and protectiveness while seeing their baby for the first time through an ultrasound.
If someone were drowning in the ocean, we would call the Coast Guard and pray for the first responders to arrive on the scene quickly. They have the expertise to go into places the average person cannot. The first response team enters immediate danger to save. That is their only goal.
Pregnancy Centers are the first responders of help for women with unplanned pregnancies. Women often feel as if they are drowning when finding out they are pregnant, and they can’t breathe. They feel like their world is slipping away from them. Pregnancy centers are a ministry of rescue and comfort, helping the moms catch their breath and get them the support that they need in that moment. They can’t fix all of their problems, but they can point them to the One that does – Jesus. They can help resource them with opportunities of care in their communities – especially to the church.
The church and their role in saving lives
The church is the hospital that a single and pregnant mom needs to encounter and get to know her Savior, be discipled and receive heart healing and transformative care.
The church can play a powerful role in saving lives. The church can be one of the first places a girl runs to when she finds out she has an unplanned pregnancy, instead of the last because of shame and guilt. The church can help her be brave and choose life – and brave moms raise brave kids! The church can reach out into the communities, and partner with pregnancy centers. They can invite these women and men into a spiritual family. The church can help heal past hurts and wounds and help set people free because free people free people. The church can help practically by giving single moms a hand-up so they won’t just survive through life but thrive.
We are the church. The church isn’t a building. It’s a people. We are the church everywhere we go and we represent Jesus wherever we are.
I have met countless women that have joined an Embrace Grace group at a local church for support and community. I get to hear their stories of how they came to the courageous decision to choose life. It’s usually a mix of occasions, conversations and confirmations that God’s got her. Hands down, the number one reason I hear consistently is because of seeing their baby on an ultrasound at their local pregnancy center. Then their hope rises even more when they hear about a local church with an Embrace Grace group that wants to welcome her into their spiritual family. They are opening their doors and hearts to her – and even offering to throw her a baby shower.
With churches and pregnancy centers partnering together, we can save and rescue, comfort and heal hearts because The Great Physician, Jesus, lives in us and works through us.
He leaves the 99 to come after her.
He guides her back home.
He throws her a prodigal party.
He resuscitates her broken heart.
He brings her back to life.
He sets her free.
He empowers the powerless.
He helps her be brave.
He puts the lonely ones into families.
He calls her His beloved daughter.
And then … She Rises.
Church, prayerfully consider partnering more with your local pregnancy centers. Take a tour. Give monthly. Then ask God how you can play a role in helping save lives physically and eternally through the pregnancy centers, the church, or the pro-life movement. When we love single and pregnant moms and are obedient to plant seeds, we can trust God to coordinate the watering and growth. He loves to woo His daughters’ hearts to His. Sometimes He will use a church to do it. Sometimes He will use strangers.
And sometimes He will use a baby.
 “Option Ultrasound Program,” Focus on the Family, Accessed April 14, 2020