from his Together for Adoption blog
As all of you who frequent this blog know, we have our next Together for Adoption conference on October 2-3 at Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. It is a conference we are very excited about.
From time to time I’m asked this question, “Who should consider attending your conference? It seems like a really niched conference.” Here is my answer to this great question: Our conference is for anyone who has been adopted. Now don’t conclude too quickly that you know what I mean by that answer.
Every Christian has entered God’s household through adoption (Ephesians 1:6; 2:19). There is no such thing as a Christian who has not been adopted by God, period. All of us who are members of God’s family were adopted.
Since Christianity has a vertical to horizontal movement (i.e., we love because God first loved us, we forgive because God in Christ has forgiven us, etc), our conferences are both about our vertical adoption (i.e., God adopting us in Christ) and orphan care and horizontal adoption (i.e., couples adopting children). Not all Christians are called by God to adopt a child, but all Christians are called by God to care for orphans in some capacity (James 1:27).
If anything can mobilize the church to care for orphans, it will be the truth of our adoption by God. When we were without hope in this world, God brought us near through adoption. Who better to care for orphans than those who have experienced this amazing grace.
If you desire to learn more about what it means to be adopted by God, you will find this conference to be very profitable. We are convinced that the more we think about God’s gracious provision of vertical adoption, the more we will see and appreciate His glory, grace, beauty, love, etc. Adoption is first about the glorious God of the universe coming to profoundly needy people in the person of His Son to give us the adoption as sons (Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5).
When we grow in our understanding of who this God of grace is and what He has done to adopt us through Jesus Christ, we will find our love for and our pursuit of Him progressively increasing. So, ultimately, we want to see people grow in their enjoyment of God as their Father to the “praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). If this kind of talk resonates with you, let us encourage you to consider attending our upcoming conference. You will not be disappointed.
Even though our conferences are about vertical adoption, don’t think that orphan care and horizontal adoption will be a conference afterthought. Just take a look at our conference poster. No, we believe that Christians who are deepening in their understanding of God’s gracious provision of adoption as sons will find themselves joyfully compelled to extend this same kind of compassion to orphans, both here and abroad.
Christians who love the wonderful provision of vertical adoption will become increasingly passionate about “visiting orphans in their affliction” (James 1:27), whether through short-term mission efforts, humanitarian assistance, adopting a child, or assisting others in the adoption process in some way. Certainly, God does not call every Christian couple to adopt, but He does call the church to care for orphans—adoption being one way that the church can fulfill this calling.
So if you have been adopted by God and believe that God has called the church to care for orphans, let us strongly encourage you to prayerfully consider attending Conference 2009.