“The life function of [the local church] is to love the God who created it – to care for others out of obedience to Christ, to heal those who hurt, to take away fear, to restore community, to belong to one another, to proclaim the Good News while living it out. The church is the invisible made visible.”
As Man Up and Go seeks to engage the fatherless, your church can connect in two ways. First, by championing the Child Sponsorship program through Man Up and Go, we can engage the fatherless by securing a child’s food, education, and access to the Gospel message through our network of partner churches and schools around the globe. Second, you can send a team from your church to specifically engage with the children in the sponsorship program, and serve and encourage our pastors and ministry leaders on the ground.
Another way your church can carry out the James 1:27 mandate is through our women’s vocational programs. Your local body of believers can empower the single mothers and widows we work with by advocating for and selling their handiwork in your churches and communities. The women in the vocational training program are currently making beads, purses, and bags that can be sold to support their work. The average single mother we work with earns less than $4/month. You can champion these women, most of whom are connected to a local church, by selling their wares, the proceeds of which go back into their community to help pay for their children’s school fees, among other things. Additionally, individuals in your church who are skilled in arts and crafts can engage these women on mission trips by helping them diversify their skill sets and marketable products.
A final way your church can embrace the long-term implications of James 1:27 is by equipping men to lead. Too many men are abdicating their roles as protectors and providers, thus continuing the scourge of generational fatherlessness. Our year-long Authentic Masculinity Program trains men on Biblical masculinity, discipleship, entrepreneurialism, income generation, and provides access to small business loans. If we are going to mitigate the number of orphaned children in the world, the Church must inspire and disciple our men to think and act like Jesus, which includes financially providing for our families (1 Timothy 5:8).
As groups of men are going through the Authentic Masculinity Program around the world, you can champion them by financially supporting the distribution of loans for income generation and start up capital. You can also send groups with specific skill sets to train these men on accounting, sales and marketing, supply chain management, farming practices, and other biblically sound business principles. For those who have a heart for discipleship and training (both pastors and laypersons), you can send teams to exhort men to live biblically, to love their wives and children, to engage and build up the local church, and to do James 1:27 in their own communities.