Missions is a huge part of our heart at Stonegate. As a Southern Baptist Church, Stonegate contributes to the Southern Baptist Cooperative Program. We also feel that God has called us to help a specific missions emphasis both locally and internationally. We specifically target Church Planting and Orphan Care both locally and internationally. As with most things of God, we are discovering new layers of this call all the time. Currently, it looks like this:
God's Heart for Orphans
We believe orphan care is central to the heart of God.
Throughout Scripture we see God as the Father to the fatherless. When you think of various metaphors to describe the gospel, marriage and adoption rise to the top. Picture a family looking at an orphan, totally helpless. Apart from their intervention, this orphan is hopeless. Then this Jesus-loving, Gospel-soaked family steps in and adopts this child. They are no longer an orphan, but a son or daughter. They are no longer fatherless, they now have a dad and are an integral part of a family.
This picture was our situation before our salvation. We were an orphan, totally helpless and apart from God’s intervention, we were hopeless. But Jesus stepped in, lived a perfect life, was crucified in our place and rose from the grave conquering sin, death and Satan on our behalf. By faith in this atoning work, we are no longer an orphan, but a son or daughter. We are no longer fatherless, but now have a perfect heavenly Father (Ephesians 1:5) and are transferred into the family of the Kingdom (Colossians 1:13).
As we grow in our awareness and understanding of the Gospel, it compels us toward the fatherless, imitating the heart of God. This is one of the reasons James says that true religion runs after widows and orphans (James 1:27). There is also a missional component to adoption or foster care. Physical adoption is often the precursor to spiritual adoption. When gospel-soaked parents adopt/foster children, God often uses them to save. Our desire at Stonegate is to care for the orphan and the vulnerable. We know this: all believers are called to play a role in orphan care. Some will foster, some will adopt, and some will care for these families.
Adoption and Foster Care
Our Orphan Care Team helps families who are considering adoption or foster care.
This team serves our church by walking beside families in three ways.
First, they assess families desiring to adopt and/or foster to confirm the calling and to make sure families have everything they need to keep their families healthy. The decision to foster or adopt is weighty and we want our Stonegate body to surround, encourage, sacrifice and pray together with these families.
Second, they assess families for funding by determining financial needs and how as a church family we can help.
Third, they help with ongoing support. We do this because 1 in 10 adopted children are given back, fifty percent of foster families quit after the first year, and another twenty five percent after the second year. Moreover, a “lack of support” is the number one reason families stop pursuing orphan care.
As we look down the road ten years, we are praying for 100 Stonegate families to adopt and many more to be involved in foster care. In addition to that, we are praying that by the grace of God, we’d reverse the foster system’s current waiting list. Rather than kids waiting on families to foster, we want foster agencies in the area to have a list of Jesus-loving families waiting for kids.
Come and join the care for the orphan! For more information, email the Orphan Care team. If you are interested in beginning a partnership with our orphan care team, please fill out the Orphan Care online questionnaire here.