Respect Life: Easy Church Action Steps

Respect Life: Easy Church Action Steps picture of man praying

I was driving one cold morning and saw a lady whose car had broken down on the side of the road. It was early, and she was alone. I drove past. I felt terrible for her, but what was I to do? The Holy Spirit gave me that nudge. I should stop and help.

I had all the excuses: I didn’t know how to fix a car, I’d be late for work, someone else could do a better job than me, and she’d probably be fine. But it continued to be on my heart. Finally, I bargained with the Lord, “Okay. I’ll turn around and see if she is still there, and alone, and still needs help. Then I’ll stop.”

I turned around and drove by one more time. Yep, I needed to stop. So I pulled up and walked over and said, “Hey, I don’t know much about cars, but can I help?”

How Can I Help with Respecting Life?

When it comes to being pro-life, it can feel overwhelming. What can I do? I don’t know any women who are in an unexpected pregnancy. Yet, just like me driving past the woman with car issues, I learned it wasn’t so much that I had the answers. It was more that she didn’t want to be alone. So, with that in mind, all of us can do something to let a woman and a man know they are not alone.

Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life, shared that “I wrote a book back in 2010 where I interviewed Students for Life leaders and young women around campus who all had an abortion story. In every story, every person we interviewed, the difference between life and death was one person. If she was able to find one person to tell her she didn’t have to have the abortion – not that they had all the solutions and all the answers to everything going on in her life at that time – but just saying ‘you don’t have to do it’ could have saved them.”

"The difference between life and death was one person."

Therefore, there is something all of us can do. It can feel like a very “small” help. However, our God specializes in taking the small offerings of a few fish and loaves and making the offering multiply in its effectiveness. With that in mind, a church body can help respect, promote and protect life in three easy ways. It starts with our attitude, flows into our words and shows up in our actions.

Respect Life with a Life-Minded Attitude

“A church without the broken is a broken church.”

Since we have all fallen short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23), the church is the best place for everyone to find redemption through forgiveness of sins. We are all broken people who have struggled with temptation and lost. Only God’s grace to give us forgiveness, as Romans 3:24-26 shares, has saved us. Therefore,  the church should be the first place to go when there is an unexpected pregnancy because the church can demonstrate God’s redeeming love. An unexpected pregnancy is an opportunity to share the grace we have been given.

#1 Share Pro-Life Reasoning

Pastors and lay leaders, with their Pastor’s approval, can share about the value of life. Share the concepts of life beginning at conception. We oppose taking the lives of innocent human beings. Abortion is designed to end a life. Therefore, abortion is wrong. Share stories about couples that have chosen life, share about adoption and about forgiveness for sexual sin and abortion. And please recognize that likely someone listening to you has participated in abortion.

 The video talks about how we can speak up to defend life quickly and clearly with four points in the acronym SLED. 

Speaking Opportunities:

  • January is Sanctity of Human Life month.
  • Go through Genesis and share how God created us. We are His image bearers and have value because of that alone.
  • Psalms 139, Isaiah 49, and Jeremiah 1 credit God for forming us in the womb. Life begins at conception and is planned by God.
  • We are God’s advocates for life. Psalm 146:9, Isaiah 58:6- 10 and Matthew 25:34- 40 show this. 

#2 Start Groups That Build Pro-Life Views

  • Start an Embrace Grace group. This is an excellent way to bring a positive note into the church, providing an easy way to give joy and practical support to a pregnant woman in an unexpected pregnancy. It is a beautiful picture of redemption and a celebration of life.
  • Start an abortion recovery group. Not only does this minister to men and women who have had an abortion, but it also shares that it is okay to talk about abortion. Abortion can be redeemed. And if a couple finds themselves in an unexpected pregnancy, they might even go to someone who has been through an abortion.
  • Join and read the House of Refuge statement twice a year.
  • Have free diapers and wipes in the changing room of the church. Celebrate each birth with gifts for the baby and the parents. Let the congregation see that we care and value family.
  • Start a ministry for children and adults with special needs. Sometimes, women abort because they are told their child has a disability and will lack “quality of life.” We reveal the truth when we serve and celebrate anyone with different abilities. Our life is not valuable because of what we do but because of who made us.  
  • Sign up for CarePortal. Church can become a provider of items needed for those in an unexpected pregnancy through the CarePortal. It is a fun way to celebrate with the whole congregation’s needs that are met.

Respect Life with Careful Words

When a woman or couple shares about an unexpected pregnancy, thank them for sharing. Lean into where they are and listen to their fears. As the relationship grows, there will be time to talk about fidelity and God’s design for sex within a marriage. When people are panicked, it is very hard to hear advice. Listen and help them take the next right step.

Robyn Chambers, Vice President of Life at Focus on the Family, shares how the words “Let’s make a plan” saved her. Even though Robyn was afraid because of her unexpected pregnancy, she knew she would move forward with a decision for life because she wasn’t alone. Many women share that they would not have made an abortion decision if they had support and care.

Be in the moment with the woman or couple to prevent fear and lies from moving them in a direction they will regret the rest of their lives with helpful words:

Helpful Words

  • This may not be your expected circumstances, but we can get through this. Lots of people have. Can I make an appointment for you at the pregnancy clinic? My family would be happy to drive you there. And by the way, congratulations!
  • Some stories don’t start the way we intend, but children are a gift from God. Let’s talk more with the pregnancy center to discuss your concerns and find solutions.
  • The world will tell you if you keep this baby, your life will be over. But there are lots of people who made the choice to carry their pregnancy to term and are happy they did. Some decided to parent, and some decided to make an adoption plan. Let’s start with going to a pregnancy medical clinic to find out how far along you are and hear about the options.
  • Sometimes, the biggest blessings of our lives can come at the most unexpected times. You are not alone. This church is here to help. Do you want help in talking to your parents or the father? We should also get an ultrasound to see how far along you are.
  • This can feel like a scary time, but you are not alone. We will support you. What kind of support do you have in your life? What do you need right now? And also, let me be the first to congratulate you.

Harmful Words

  • We don’t say “crisis pregnancy” anymore. Women don’t want to be considered a problem or a crisis. Often, this term came from the old center names of Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC.) CPCs were founded in the 1970s; however, the care provided has been elevated. Most centers are now called Pregnancy Resource Centers or Pregnancy Medical Clinics.
  • “You should have kept your pants on, controlled yourself or not had sex.” The man and woman already know that sex outside of marriage does not help them. Let’s first love them instead of shaming them, which will open the door for conversations on God’s design for sex.
  • “She killed her baby” when talking about women who have had an abortion. Yes, the child died through abortion, but if we say she killed her baby, then she thinks she’s a killer. How would we like to be labeled by one of our worst moments? Again, the woman and the man are eternal souls, following Jesus’ example in John 8:1-11
  • Understand the trauma a person may be feeling. Before showing an actual abortion procedure, pictures or other graphic results of abortion give a warning to people who may be sensitive to bloody images or those who have trauma from an abortion in their past. We don’t want to inflict more harm.

Respect Life by Taking Action

We can be the body of Christ. We can be His hands and feet. The hands that healed the blind man. The feet that went towards the woman at the well. The presence of Jesus showed up outside the tomb to bring comfort. There are tangible ways we can do this regardless of where politics are. It doesn’t matter if abortion is legal if abortion becomes undesirable and unthinkable. There are so many opportunities out there to help. Here are just some ideas to get started. What is God calling you to?

"Help people understand their value in Christ."

#1 Support Your Local Pregnancy Center

  • Find your nearby pregnancy medical center. Check with their Executive Director to find out how they want to be supported.
Ways to Support Pregnancy Centers
  • Financially support your local center by getting to know the Executive Director and their staff.
  • Participate in any walk, gala, or fundraising event they host.
  • There is a lot of need for qualified help committed to showing up. Some ideas for volunteers are counselors, nurses, greeters, teachers, IT support, marketing support, social media person, security, etc.
  • Provide resources the center asks for. Bring new items they need for their clients, such as diapers, car seats, clothing etc. Some centers even have online registries, making it easy to purchase specific, necessary items. 
  • Have the church connect to the pregnancy center and support the woman and man with follow-up care. Helpful items are access to the food pantry, financial aid, parenting classes, vehicle care, housing needs, resume building, jobs, etc.
  • If the center needs a new location or building, can a business person help finance a new building or find a place to rent?
  • Provide professional services such as cleaning, decorating, plumbing, electrical, security, new windows, new computers, printer repair, massage for the staff, etc.

#2 Join, Follow and Support Life Respecting Organizations

  • Abiding Love – Adoption services for birth moms.
  • And Then There Were None – A ministry by Abby Johnson that helps people leave the abortion industry.
  • Christian Adoption Alliance – An excellent place for a birth mom looking to make an adoption plan or a couple wanting to adopt.
  • Daily Citizen – Faith-filled news and current event stories by Focus on the Family.
  • Live Action – One of the most prominent pro-life social media and newsgroups.
  • March for Life – An organization that gathers National and State marches to encourage life.
  • National Safe Haven Alliance – Provides safe alternatives for parents to prevent infant abandonment.
  • Options Ultrasound Program from Focus on the Family – A part of the Focus on the Family ministry that offers over 16 different types of grants to help Pregnancy Medical Centers do their essential work.
  • ProLove Ministries – A ministry by Abby Johnson that connects resources and builds unity in the pro-life movement.
  • Seven Weeks Coffee – Buy your coffee from a company that supports life.
  • Sidewalk Advocates – A ministry that helps people engage with those going into an abortion clinic.
  • Students for Life – Groups, education and resources geared towards students who want to support life.
  • Wait No More – Information on how to care for children and families in foster care.

Respect Life

Many people recognize that life begins in the womb. However, as Christians, we have an even greater responsibility to understand life matters to God. We have a saying, “When we see life the way God sees it, we take action.” Abortion is a direct attack on His image and His image bearers. Fighting abortion and saving souls is part of our history as Christians. Let’s continue to “fight the good fight.”

"Abortion is not only an attack against the womb and the vulnerable human life it shelters: it's also an attack upon the concept of compassion that is the essence of God's nature. It's an attack on God's beautiful, hopeful plan for humanity."

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