The Church is the organization God created for us to provide the world with passion, hope, and love. Despite this truth, we at Save the Storks noticed a gap between the Church and the pro-life movement. 52% of churchgoers who have had an abortion say that no one at church knows about it.1 Statistics like these confirm the problem, but how do we, as the Church, support abortion-vulnerable women? Many women who choose abortion do so in a moment of feeling alone and helpless. The connection they need to access available resources begins with trusted relationships where they can share their unplanned pregnancy without fear of judgment. We believe the Church should be the place to build those relationships.
Our Church team is working to make the Church the place where abortion-vulnerable women run to rather than run away from.
So, how do we help the Church support abortion-vulnerable women?
Most churches are pro-life but rarely address abortion from the pulpit or the pews. We know the heart of the Church is to support women and save lives, but the Church sometimes lacks the vocabulary to speak on sensitive subjects like abortion. This is where we come in.
The Church team at Save the Storks has a three-step initiative to help local churches reach more women in need.
- First, we raise awareness by supporting the churches in becoming aware of what is happening in their community.
- Next, we develop the Church by providing essential life-affirming training to its congregants, equipping them to support women in their community.
- Lastly, we implement the movement; our dream is for the Church, pregnancy resource centers, and local partnerships to become a united front in life-affirming care.
Awareness: Addressing the Silence
The first step to fixing the gap between the Church and women facing unplanned pregnancies is raising awareness. Our Church team attends conferences, meets with pastors, and shares statistics about how the Church interacts with the pro-life movement.
Did you know more than 4 in 10 women attended a Christian church at least once a month when they had their first abortion?2
Our Church team shares statistics with pastors at the conferences they attend. Helping churches become aware of what is happening in the community in the pro-life movement inspires them to act.
The Authenticity Survey
Save the Storks’ desire is for the Church to become where abortion-vulnerable women can run to for compassionate support. Our Church team assists churches in becoming a place that is open, honest, and transparent. So, we created The Authenticity Survey. The Authenticity Survey is dispersed to church congregants and asks questions to gauge how safe members feel to share their broken situations. We currently have a church piloting this program at The Bridge Church in Newbury Park, California, before we make it available to all.
Development: Training the Church to Promote Life
Once the Church knows the problem, how can they fix it? We serve churches by providing essential resources so the whole body can support abortion-vulnerable women in their community.
Start Course: A First Aid Course for Pro-Life Ministry
The Start Course is a free 2½ hour video course that will equip your church to reach and serve a woman in an unplanned pregnancy and empower her to choose life.
START COURSE 101:
Start Course 101 gives the Church a basis for pro-life apologetics and worldviews. It includes information on the causes of abortion, responses to life, and communication skills and strategies.
START COURSE 201: Trauma-Informed Care for Unplanned Pregnancy
The Church team created this program in conjunction with the American Association of Christian Counselors with the assistance of Dr. Mercy Connors and Rion Page. The Start Course 201 equips the Church to better understand trauma, its impact, and the basics of trauma-informed care. The program provides essential information to help the Church understand and assist a woman with trauma related to unplanned pregnancy.
Stork Mother’s Advocate:
We created the Stork Mother’s Advocate Program to give tools for the churches to reach out and build a one-on-one community for abortion-minded women. A Stork Mother’s Advocate acts as a mentor, meeting one-on-one with women in need. They gently guide with life-affirming resources, biblical direction, and connection.
This program is in development and plans to launch in 2024.
Movement: Strengthening Partnerships and Programs
We are collaborating with our dedicated staff, volunteers, partners, and supporters to create a united front for life-affirming change. By strengthening our programs and partnerships, we provide support, education, and resources to those serving while creating environments where the broken can find healing and hope. Save the Storks’ Church team currently equips about 300 churches, including 7 Hills Church and Wildwood Church, with approximately 2,000 churches in our database.
How We Help the Church Support Women: Testimonies
At the last conference our director, Bill Heydorn, attended in Tennessee, he met a woman who volunteered as a nurse in one of our Mobile Medical Clinics:
“As I spoke with her, she shared that she had taken the Start Course. She credited the Start Course for giving her the confidence to invite six women she had assisted in the Mobile Medical Clinic to church. These six women now join her in church every Sunday. Due to the training from the Start Course, her heart, and the Mobile Medical Clinic, this woman was able to build lasting relationships with the women she served. Trained up and qualified, it was easy for her to invite these women to have a relationship with Jesus.
In another case, I was heading into a church we partner with in Orange County. Outside the church was a lady with her kid on her shoulders. The kid was screaming, and she was getting ready to go to the church. Others and I stopped to help calm her kid down.
She paused, looked at the Mobile Medical Clinic, and said, ‘My son wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that bus.’ Then she looked at the church and said, ‘If it wasn’t for this church, I don’t know where I would be.’ This is why we do what we do.”
Our Church Team Mission
“Our mission at Save the Storks is to equip churches to develop a story of hope and empowerment for every woman facing an unexpected pregnancy. This is a challenging mission because many today do not want to see this happen, and we have a spiritual enemy devouring that hope. The good news is I believe that God will provide a way for us to reach churches so that they can be the first place an abortion-minded woman goes for care. Imagine that. Instead of running to Planned Parenthood, they run to the Church. The thing is, we cannot do this alone. We need you. We need your prayers, we need your financial support, and we need you to get engaged. I can’t wait to see what God will do through us all.” — Bill Heydorn, Director of Church Partnerships and Programs.
Learn more about our Church team and how to get involved here.