By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
January 19, 2024
It’s been 40 years since President Ronald Reagan issued a presidential proclamation designating the third Sunday of January (Jan. 21 this year) as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Organizations across the United States use the day to shine a light on abortion and other atrocities.
“For pastors putting together their Sanctity of Human Life message for this Sunday, the Christian Action League humbly offers the below tips to help you and your church promote a culture of abundant life,” says the Rev. Mark Creech, the League’s executive director.
- Talk about the abortion issue as a minister of the gospel, not as a culture warrior.
“We’ll always be thankful for the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, but the real ‘win’ happens when the hearts of mothers and fathers are won to the Lord,” said the Rev. Creech. “This is also not the time to let debates over the virtues of incrementalism or absolutism cloud the issue. It’s about uniting for the cause of life.”
Dr. Greg Austen, executive director of church outreach and engagement for Care Net, a nationwide pro-life nonprofit, said it this way in a recent blog post: “We can find common ground with our neighbors – regardless of their political perspective – by reaching for higher ground.”
Care Net also advises ministers that they should “never talk about abortion without talking about abortion recovery and God’s mercy and forgiveness.”
2. Commit to learning more about issues surrounding the protection and flourishing of life, and encourage your congregation to also stay informed.
Being pro-life is much more than just opposing abortion. What does the Bible say about euthanasia, the treatment of the elderly, or caring for the disabled? How can more Christians become foster parents or adopt? And how can the church train volunteers to offer informed support to expectant mothers and fathers so that they are more likely to choose life?
The questions may seem endless. And it takes time and effort to stay abreast of pro-life issues. But resources such as the Christian Action League website are available. Care Net’s Making Life Disciples training is another good place to start.
3. Search out and support pro-life efforts already going on in your community.
Many pregnancy resource centers hold Baby Bottle Boomerang fund-raisers in January during which supporters fill bottles with cash and checks. Beyond financial help, centers are often in need of supplies such as diapers, wipes, infant and toddler clothes or furniture. Some may be looking to add a pastor to their board, or they may need other expertise that a member of your congregation can provide. Invite a PRC representative to share their center’s mission and current needs with your church to get the ball rolling. If you don’t know where the nearest center is, this directory from LifeLink Carolina may help.
4. Continue your focus on the sanctity of life for a month, rather than just one Sunday.
The National Abortion Federation hotline, which routes callers to abortion clinics and offers them financial assistance, is open seven days a week. So shouldn’t church leaders spend more than one Sunday a year putting the spotlight on the sanctity of life?
Plan a series of sermons to kick off on Sanctity of Life Sunday or include a different prayer focus each week.
And finally, the best way to promote a culture of abundant life …
5. Preach the Gospel, preach the Gospel, preach the Gospel!
According to recent Guttmacher Institute statistics, 17 percent of abortion patients identify as mainline Protestant, 13 percent as evangelical protestant, and 24 percent as Catholic.
“Abortions aren’t just perpetrated by atheists. Professing Christians need to be assured and reassured of how God loves his creation and how important life is to God,” says Allison Medford, executive director of the Uwharrie Women’s Center, a recently established pregnancy resource nonprofit in Montgomery County.
Since one in four women have likely had an abortion by the age of 45, Medford emphasized that they also need to hear about the love and forgiveness found only in Christ.
“When we have a true understanding of the holiness of God, we will naturally despise our sin and seek Christ-likeness. We will naturally support life when we understand God’s character,” she said. “Of course I want churches to partner with their local pregnancy resource centers, financially support them, volunteer, and pray for the centers. But no true change will come without new hearts regenerated by the Gospel – repent and believe.”