Journeying towards transformation

Planning your roadmap for change

Every journey is unique

As a Home for Good Church, you have committed to go deeper in your understanding and engagement around fostering, adoption and supported lodgings. You want to play an even more active part in finding and sustaining homes for children and young people. Ultimately, you long to make a difference in your community and you hope to inspire more people within your church to be part of this ministry.

That’s the theory, that’s the aspiration - but the reality will look different for every church. Your journey will be unique to you. Sure, the broad direction will be similar to other churches and you’ll visit many of the same landmarks along the way, but your route and pace will be your own.

For each Home for Good Church, it’s really helpful to plot your own roadmap for change – to identify some key milestones and activities that will help you move towards deeper engagement and impact over the next few years. The first step is to consider where you are currently and where you hope to end up.

Departures and destinations

There’s an old ‘joke’ told about a tourist who’s hopelessly lost in the west of Ireland as she tries to find her way to Galway City. She sees a farmer leaning on a gate, so she pulls up to ask for directions. “You’re trying to get to Galway?”, asks the farmer… “Well, if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here.”

I say ‘joke’, because it’s only moderately amusing, but also because an exchange like this isn’t an uncommon experience in Ireland – and there’s also a hint of wisdom in the punchline.

When we think about where it is we’re trying to reach, it’s important to identify our starting point. That’s certainly true for churches seeking to deepen their engagement and grow their impact around finding and sustaining homes for children and young people. Some Home for Good Churches are relatively new to the world of fostering and adoption, others have been actively playing their part for years. The starting points might be very different, but each church has the potential to go deeper and further.

Of course, a starting point is just that: it’s a place of departure and beginning. Ultimately, we’re trying to get somewhere, to reach a destination. That’s why you signed up to be a Home for Good Church – you want your church to get somewhere, to go and to grow in this vision and work. So, it’s worth putting some thought into where you’d like to be in two- or three-years’ time. What are your hopes and aspirations for your church’s involvement in finding and sustaining homes?

Questions to help identify your ‘here’ and ‘there’

We’d encourage you to chat together – as church leaders and any Home for Good Champions – about where you are now and where you hope to reach. Your Home for Good staff contact is also available to discuss these things with you.

The following questions may help prompt your thinking:

  • As a church – and as key individuals in your church – what’s your current level of awareness and understanding of the care system and the needs facing children in your community? How would you like this to grow? What might help with that?
  • How wide is the awareness and engagement in your church family? Is this ministry just held by a few, passionate individuals or is it shared more widely? How might you widen the net?
  • How often, if at all, do you preach about God’s heart for vulnerable children, or talk about fostering and adoption in church, or pray for children and families in your community with experience of care? Is there room to preach, talk and pray a bit more?
  • What’s your current level of active engagement as a church? Do you have families in your church who already provide homes through fostering, adoption or supported lodgings? Are these families – including the children – known, supported and cared for? Do you have any involvement in supporting families in the wider community or inspiring other nearby churches to get involved?
  • What’s your vision for this ministry in your church? Where would you like to be? What are your bold ambitions for the next few years?

Getting from here to there

In our next Home for Good Church Update, we’ll look at the roadmap idea in more detail, with some specific suggestions for resources and activities for your church. For now, we’d simply encourage you to identify a few, key, annual commitments or activities that can gradually increase awareness and engagement across your church family. Your Home for Good staff contact can help you with this. You can also visit the Resources section of our website for some inspiration.

As an example, here’s a very simple roadmap for a church that is relatively new to Home for Good:

Year 1

  • Pray in church every other month for Home for Good and for the children and families for whom we advocate.
  • Show an inspiring Home for Good video in church services once or twice during the year.
  • Promote the Home for Good online information sessions for those who want to find out more.
  • Organise a group to take part in Home for Good’s ‘Walk With Me’ fundraising challenge in the summer.

Year 2

  • Pray for Home for Good and the wider vision every month – including using some of the prayer resources produced by Home for Good.
  • Invite a Home for Good speaker to preach/share at a Sunday service or midweek gathering.
  • Host a Home for Good Church vision event in your church to help people explore ‘Why’ and ‘How’ your church should care about care.
  • Encourage people to join an online Foundations Course to explore opening up their homes.
  • Encourage wider participation in the ‘Walk With Me’ summer campaign.

Year 3

  • Host a special Home for Good service – with prayers, videos and interviews that all relate to the wider ministry and a special collection. You could even have a special lunch after the service.
  • Explore starting a Home for Good Support Group for those in the wider community who foster, adopt or host children and young people.
  • Share your church’s story at a Home for Good event or at a local church gathering.

Roger Cooke

Date published:
27th March 2024



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