December 13, 2022

'My DREAM For Our Churches' by Wendy McMahan, For The Children President

My dream for churches

My pastor is fond of saying, “God’s plan for reaching the world is the local Church. There is no Plan B.”

I’ve heard others say this, too. They are right, of course. In the New Testament, God unfolds the Church as His chosen instrument for sharing the Gospel. In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says to His followers, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden… In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

When I hear people express doubts about the impact of the Church on communities, I wish they could have just 10 minutes to see one of our For The Children chapters in action. In 44 states, we have over 200 church partners dedicated to creating life-changing moments for children in foster care. Hundreds of other local churches share volunteers and resources with these chapters, resulting in the involvement of over 1,000 local U.S. churches in our Royal Family KIDS programs every year.

If you could visit our chapter at Southeast Christian Church in Parker, Colorado on a Saturday morning, you would see children ages 6-12 from all over the Denver area experiencing Jesus through the love of volunteers.

If I could take you to summer camp with our chapter at Atmosphere Church in Thousand Oaks, California, you would meet dozens of adults who have taken a week of vacation time and sacrificed hundreds of hours of their free time to show children that they are not forgotten.

Across the US and internationally, the Church is showing herself to be a witness to the most vulnerable children.

My dream for churches is that they would be equipped to live out their missional calling. That every church would discover the role God has prepared for them among children who have experienced relational trauma.

For The Children equips churches to carry out Royal Family KIDS Camps and Mentoring. Many of these churches will discover that our programs are building blocks to build out ministries along a full continuum of care. Others will partner with neighboring churches to meet more needs.

Recently I heard a beautiful story from our partner church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Christian Chapel has participated in Royal Family KIDS Camp for over 20 years. Over time, church volunteers have remained in touch with campers who are now adults. One camper—I’ll call her Megan—received mentoring from a church member. As she grew into a young woman, Megan relied on her mentor for advice and support. When she was ready to get married, the church helped her to host the wedding of her dreams. And when Megan and her husband had each of their five children, her mentor and other church members were right there to serve as extended family in their lives.

Christian Chapel, Atmosphere Church, and Southeast Christian Church are just a few of over 200 churches in the For The Children network who are living out their missional calling today. No matter where God takes each local Church in their ministry, my dream—and prayer—is that they would live up to the full potential to which God has called them.

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