If you read the PPL newsletter, you might be wondering how to help your church engage in the multiple issues of life: rescuing infants, caring for women and orphans, the sick, elderly, disabled, and more. Maybe your church has “pro-life” position papers and supports a local pregnancy center. But you long for more: grace-permeated responses to the disabled and infirm, comfort for those who suffer miscarriage, support for moms, dads and their unborn children during an unplanned pregnancy and so much more.
How do you serve and guide your church to promote and protect all of human life?
At PPL we believe that a Life Team can help equip your church to address the most urgent social issues of our time. That’s why we are beginning to equip Presbyterian and Reformed churches to create Life Teams that help their pastor and congregation champion life. With Life Teams, the church can be on the frontline of the “life” issues, offering grace, compassion, tangible help, truth and protection.
“Our mission statement is ‘Compelled by the gospel, PPL equips Presbyterians to champion human life at every stage.’ Life Teams, led by lay leaders in the church - not pastors - can help congregations champion life in their own contexts and in their own communities,” said PPL President John Sheldon.
Many churches don’t talk about life issues because it’s a complicated conversation, and they don’t want to appear dogmatic about something so nuanced. There is a fear of hurting people’s feelings, so some church leaders hold back.
“Pastors and elders don’t want to stir up controversy in their peaceful congregations, so they are reluctant to speak with confidence,” said PPL Executive Director Deborah Hollifield.
Life Teams, working with the approval of their pastor, can help encourage church leaders with multi-faceted ministry that affirms the dignity of all human life. In short, they can help the church regain her voice for life.
Why Life Teams?
Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 (ESV): “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
These verses speak of four benefits of joining together. First, it makes us more productive in our work. Second, we can help each other in times of fatigue and discouragement. Third, we warm each other with fellowship (both physically and spiritually). And fourth, we protect each other in battle.
If you have a heart to champion human life in your own church, PPL is here to support you. When you form a PPL Life Team (with three to six people at your church), we can assist you! We have online resources, monthly newsletters and a Facebook group designed especially for Life Teams to help you connect to other PPL teams across the nation.
What is your first step?
We recommend that you first check out our PPL Life Team webpage to learn more. Then, contact us through our website with basic identifying information about your life team. You can begin ministry leadership with training from Churches for Life. This will help you get started building a Life Team in your church with field-tested training resources and methods that are bible-based and gospel-centered.
“Part of our Life Team Basics focuses on building trust with church leaders which is crucial for the growth of life ministry within the church,” said Carol Fouse, Executive Director of Churches For Life. “We also describe the characteristics of a Life Team and provide many examples of how a Life team can minister in your church.”