HTB Leadership Conference 2013

HTB leadership Conference

HTB leadership Conference Live Blog

Thanks to the very generous people at HTB I was given a guest pass for today. So thank you. There’s a real buzz in the Albert Hall as the worship band kicks off the day. I’m no expert but it looks like Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon and the guy from Hill Songs up front. The light show is amazing, the screen is the most high def I have seen at a conference. We sing some anthems and then we are off. I will try and capture as much as I can for as long as i can… here goes…

There’s a bit of a funny pause as the Bishop of London is running a little late – its fun to watch Nicky Gumbel fill the time – some great fun and games

Bishop of London is described as the man who preached the gospel to more people at one time than anyother person in history. We watch a clip of Will and Kate’s wedding. The Bishop talks about his upbringing and explains that his mentally disabled younger brother “humanised me and he pointed me to God.”

Describing his youth the bishop says:

“I was so conservative as a young person that my parents had to rebel against me.

“In 1968 I turned up to the interview for my theological college wearing a bowler hat.”

“As I left “I have to tell you Chatres a man with your views has no place in the modern church of England”

Of his time as Chaplain to Archbishop Robert Runcie the bishop says

“I had a worm’s eye view of the Anglican Communion.”

“Silence and stillness are our main educators” the only way to listen to them is “to get up very early.” The Bishop explains he got up at 5.30am and realised that the Dali Lama had already been up for 2 hours.

The Bishop’s tips to young leaders who want to grow as a leader:

“you have to have some gifts to start with. Some of the most saintly people I know are not gifted to operate in public. So you need some leadership gifts to get started. There are saints to learn from so the reading of history for me has proved to be a continuing education.”

The people the Bishop have most learnt from “the early church, I have been spending the last few days with St Augustine’s city of god. Augustine’s life and reversals and suprises and the fact that he was very busy bishop is remarkable. How much he packed in.”

How are we going to train up more young leaders? “I don’t think we have been bloody, bold enough – I think now is the time because we know over the next 10 years 40% of the full time clergy in London will retire. Now is the time to say that “being a servant of the word of God is the most thrilling way to send your life” – we need to be more assertive and “dare I say cheerful – I go round trying to spread apathy where ever I go… but I am buoyed up by the enthusiasm of what God is doing around.”

There is only one church – we need to think London and think Christian.

Matt Redman takes to the stage with LZ7 – great performance of 27 million –

Lz7 and Matt Redman at the HTB leadership conference

Christine Caine is up now – she founded the 8:21 organisation which is an antitrafficking group. She has written three books – they are a good summary of who she is says Nicky Gumbel. She is part of Hill Songs Sydney, church.

“A life unleashed”

“Stop acting like a Christian just be one”

“Can I do it all?”

Christine Caine at the HTB leadership conference

I am here representing the nameless and faceless nobodies who are doing our best for Jesus. I am one of the convicts from the colonies. I am Greek – I apologise for bankcrupting the planet. We thank God for Nicky and Pippa for unifying so much of the body of Christ. I am glad that I am alive right now – as a woman I wouldn’t have been allowed to speak at all.


I went to a mission at the university of Sydney I was a Greek Orthodox and wouldn’t set foot in a protestant church– there’s a greek Cypriot that is speaking – there was a funny little man called J John who was doing a mission. I was part of the leadership team at Hill songs for over 20 years.

We watch a video about “expired food” – My parents don’t believe in expirtation dates. We believe in a God who doesn’t believe in expiration dates.

“The one thing we need to know – is that he who promises is faithful – if god has spoken a promise over your business or your church – I wanto to speak faith to us this morning – more than anything else – we need to learn how to stir up the gift of faith inside of us. Jesus will do what he said he will do – he who promised is faithful. We need to come right back to whom we believe…”

(she’s speaking very very fast…)

Judges 2 – when Joshua and his generation died – another generation arose that did not know God. What a sad enidghtment it would be if another generation arises that did not know the lord. We don’t have the option to quit… (come on – says Judah Smith in the background)

Little bit of history of the Olympic games and the US 4x100m women’s team. They had the fastest individual runners and the best track record. But in 2 succesive Olympics they first passed the baton too late and the second time they dropped the baton. It doesn’t matter how good you are, how fast you are – if the leadership does not pass the baton on early enough or if we drop the baton then we will affect the future of the church for bad.


“Currently we have more slaves than there has been in the history of humanity – that’s not ok with me.”

“God has not called us just to do church – but to be the church that makes the difference.”

Christine spoke for an hour – she was very dynamic – she reminded me a lot of Danielle Strickland and I would shares many of her amazing strengths as well as some of her weaknesses.


For me it was inspiring to see a woman so clearly commanding an auditorium of over 4000 church leaders, some of whom would have a problem with women preachers and yet she was bold, articulate, inspirational, quotable and insightful. Was it a perfect sermon – ofcourse not. But I have yet to hear the perfect sermon from anyone. As a piece of inspirational communication it was excellent.


The take home points for me was a challenge and an encouragement:

The challenge is asking if we are waiting too long to pass on leadership to the next generation – I have been reflecting on this a little bit. Do we want a strictly come dancing approach to leadership transition. Where Arelene is replaced by Aliesha? Arlene was actually a lot more insightful than Aliesha – she knew her dancing – and could comment and critique because of decades of experience whereas Aliesha offers a fresher face and attracts a different demographic. Perhaps we need more diversity in our leadership. I hope this isn’t just my reflections now that I tick a different box on the survey form – 40+. But I recently met a young leader who has been given enormous responsibility and I just don’t think they are up for it yet. They have been appointed because of youth not track record, experience, gifting or necessarily character. My job is not to be jealous but to offer support – but still I question whether the challenge to hand over leadership quicker should be matched by an equal charge to make sure we do sufficient training and equipping to release this younger leadership.

My other take home message was an encouragement – Christine spoke with passion about her own story of closed adoption and only discovering pretty late on (in her 30s) that she was adopted and of a serious abuse history she experienced at some point in her past. Her openness about this history was helpful and highly appropriate and empowering for many people who live with these kind of issues in their past. It gave me hope for the many many children in our care system who have no access at the moment to a church community or a gospel of hope and grace. Its timely that in the national fostering fortnight this kind of story should be shared.

These conferences are fantastic places to network and meet people. I had some really helpful meetings with leaders from Alpha, New frontiers and New Wine so ducked in and out of seminars. They seemed to be of variable quality – a lot seemed to use the talk at you for an hour style of learning which ofcourse has a place – but from time to time it would be worth the church engaging with a bit of education theory.

More later…




Nice Surprise when I opened Youthwork Magazine

Judgement Culture

Nice Surprise when I opened Youthwork Magazine

It was a nice surprise when I opened Youthwork magazine today to see a quotation from my Bible studies on four parables Jesus taught about judgement. You’ll have to buy a copy of the magazine to see what I said – but in the mean time take a look at short video from the Youthwork Summit where I was asked to speak on “Tell Young People About Judgement before you tell them about Love?”


Saddleback looking for local church plant leaders

During my recent visit to Saddleback church I met some of the team responsible for their Global Church planting initiative. I really enjoyed spending time with the guys there – they seem like really stand up guys with a heart for evangelism and mission. They shared with me the PEACE plan vision to plant churches in 12 major cities worldwide. One of these cities is London. We chatted frankly about the opportunities and challenges of Saddleback planting churches into some of the world’s “megacities.” They were adamant that they don’t want to airdrop in a franchise model of church but to plant locally led, contextually sensitive church plants. I also talked with them about the Saddleback brand attracting people away from other churches but they were keen to express that they are seeking to reach-out to not-yet-Christians. I explained that I am both excited and nervous about them planting. On the one hand in London for example there are more than enough churches already and there should be ways to bless and encourage existing churches rather than planting yet more. But on the other hand London is a city with a population of larger than many countries and it is far from being a reached city and so we need all the help we can get. I am hoping there will be plenty of opportunities for Rick Warren’s fantastic gifts and skills to bless many church leaders in London beyond the plant they are hoping to start this year. They are definitely trying to contextualise and this is behind the fact that they are looking for a UK leader for their new church plant – details are below. The team are planning to make a lot of visits to London and are expressing a real keenness to talk with local leaders before they plant anywhere.

For the right person this could be an amazing opportunity.

Saddleback Church

Global Leadership Search

Do you want to help plant and lead one of the 12 Saddleback Churches we’re planting around the world in 2012? If so, we could use your help in these cities:


Mexico City Buenos Aires Freetown Johannesburg

Berlin London Moscow Amman

Manila Tokyo Hong Kong Bangalore


If you haven’t seen Pastor Rick present the 12 Cities Initiative, watch it here.


Saddleback Church is seeking teams of two to three leaders to plant a Saddleback Church in these 12 cities. We are looking for lead pastors, associate pastors, worship leaders, and children’s leaders. The churches will target spiritually lost people in urban areas.


These churches are being established and resourced for two purposes:

1. Reach lost people in each of the cities

2. Serve as base camps for equipping other churches to work together in reaching the 3,800 unreached and unengaged people groups in the world.

Leaders selected to establish these “gateway” churches must be:


  • Vibrant, mature, and growing relationship with Jesus Christ that is evident to the people around them


  • Able to cast vision, gather people in pursuit of a cause, and effectively delegate and utilize the gifts of others


  • Strongly self-motivated entrepreneurial spirit that is resilient in the face of challenges and able to quickly and flexibly adapt to unforeseen circumstances


  • Skills in public communication


  • Heart for spiritually lost people evidenced by active personal evangelism


  • Full agreement with the theology and philosophy of Saddleback Church (see here), the Purpose Driven model, and the PEACE Plan


  • Personal experience and knowledge of the culture including fluency in both English and the primary language of the city as well as eligibility to reside in country


If you are interested in applying for a leadership position with one of the city churches, apply here.

Please contact with any questions.

What do you think?

There’s been a very interesting to this post since it went up on Saturday – would love to gauge your opinion – here is an anonymous poll – sadly only the first 200 respondents count.


Funded PhD Opportunity

Just been told about this amazing opportunity for the right person. A fully funded PhD is hard to come by – and this partnership with Bible Society could be really interesting. Check it out:

Newman PhD Studentship in the Use of the Bible in Schools

Newman University College Birmingham, in conjunction with the Bible Society, is offering a full fees PhD Studentship from 1st October 2012 (or as soon as possible thereafter). The studentship is open to UK and EU applicants, and is available on either a part time or full time basis. It will cover all tuition fees for up to three years of study (full time) or up to six years (part time), subject to the successful applicant making satisfactory progress in their studies; if the student takes longer to complete the PhD, he/she will be liable to pay additional fees.

Applicants must have a good first degree (1st class or 2.1) in Theology, Biblical Studies, or a subject closely related to the research topic, and an MA or MTh or other relevant postgraduate degree. Applicants will need to demonstrate clear evidence of the skills necessary to undertake independent research (e.g. details of research methods modules undertaken and/or successful dissertations completed). Those who are invited for interview will be asked to supply in advance samples of their previous written work.

The successful candidate will be free to negotiate with the supervisory team a specific research focus within the general area of the Use of the Bible in Schools. Applicants should provide in the relevant section of the application form a draft research proposal outlining the aspect(s) of this subject which they are interested in studying, and this will form an important part of the selection process.


Newman University College has particular research strengths in the areas of Biblical Studies and Education, and our postgraduate students benefit from a high level of individual support and dedicated office space. For further information about the Institutional research environment or the Theology subject area and its staff, please visit our website:


The application form is available from and should be returned by post or e-mail to:



Closing date for applications: 12 noon on Monday 18th June 2012; interviews to be held on Monday 2nd July 2012.




22 minutes


Every 22 minutes a child in the UK enters the care system, most of them need a foster home.

On any one day 59 000 children are in foster homes.

There’s a continual need for more foster carers as more children are in the care system than ever before and 14% of foster carers retire or give up fostering each year. Fostering is one of the hardest but most rewarding things you can do. It isn’t for everyone – the children that come into foster care have often come from hard places – they may well have suffered neglect or abuse, they may have all sorts of additional needs. If you want to make a difference in someone’s life – not just by sending money but by giving yourself. Fostering is a life changing experience.

Fostering will change you and your family. Yesterday I’d had a long day at work and yet when I got home I got the joy of teaching a little boy how to ride a bike with stabilisers for the first time – he kept shouting out “awesome” and punching the air – just a few weeks ago when he came to us – he was withdrawn and tearful a lot of the time – to see this little boy start to become all he can be is one of the reasons I became a foster parent.

Fostering Fortnight begins soon – check out this website to find out if you are the kind of person that should apply.



We need your help.

I believe that the church is uniquely placed to help with the need for more foster parents and to be a place of support and welcome to foster families. We are starting a consultation process so we want to hear from anyone interested in fostering and adoption –

1 Current and prospective foster carers – to understand your hopes, fears and experiences

2 Church and denominational leaders perspective – to understand how we can begin to change the culture in churches around fostering and adoption

3 Social work professionals – to get a grip on best practice

Your engagement will shape this project at every level. All of our plans are open so getting involved now at this early stage will really help us. There will be 6 regional consultations in Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Belfast, London and Glasgow – please check on the link below for more details.

Its high time that the church became known again for being good news to our culture and what better way than to offer hospitality, hope and help to some of the most vulnerable children and their families.

Please get in touch by registering your interest at our website here.

Photo credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)

Social Media and Changing the World

Photo credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)

Here’s a 4 mins and 30 seconds long talk I was asked to give at the Lausanne Congress in Cape Town two years ago. It is interesting to reflect that this was the only talk given about social media at the whole 10 day long conference. A lot has changed since this talk was given. Take a look at the talk and then let me know what you would have said given 4 minutes to talk about this subject to an international audience.



Orphan Summit Day 2

Final morning session kicks off at Saddleback church – here’s a live blog.

The biggest predictor of homelessness in the USA is a young person who “ages out” of the foster system without family.

Now Family radio takes over the stage and we do a live recording that will be broadcast later:

Listening to Che A female FBI Analyst speaks at the Orphan Summit who entered the foster care system during he senior year of high school after her dad became an alcoholic and become abusive. She found friends who had workaholic parents and who didn’t notice that they had an extra house guest for a week or so. In the end the church took care of her and found her a way out of the abusive / nomadic system.

Foster kids don’t ask for help – you just need to see it and do it.

Che’s church decided to get involved with her life and got stuck into social services to work out how they could help. Che’s 7th grade Sunday school teacher stepped up and became her foster carer. When Che was getting married – there was no one to giver her away. So when the pastor asked “who is it that gives this woman away” Che’s entire church stood up and said “We do.”

Now hearing from another lady who was taken into care aged 12. But her Christian foster family let her down. They continually pointed her out as her foster daughter – she would be introduced not by her first name but as their foster daughter. They would

At 16 she was up for adoption – lots of people were really negative to her “why would anyone want you? Wouldn’t it be better to ‘age out’ of the foster system and you will have more financial assistance for college.” But she really wanted a forever family. She created a life book and her caseworker told her that a family were so impressed with your book that they made you a family book. When she opened the front page of the book it was her Department of Children Services manager and his family. She was 17 at the time and the family really wrapped around me and from the beginning she felt like she had come home.

Both women are asked to imagine that their foster mum or their adoptive father was there and to express what they mean to them. The women look nervous about this, and then the interviewer announces that they have a surprise for them and the foster mum and the adoptive dad – walk on to the stage. Its a very moving moment and both girls break down “We are professionals we never cry” they say. Che says to her

I feel loved because you loved me.


Dr Sharon Ford – State of Colarado Chldren Services
Susan Jacobs – special advisor for international children services – US Department of State
Honourable Inyumba Aloisea Rwandan minister of gender and family promotions
Rick Warren is chairing.

Rick explains that he was speaking 4 years ago at the Davos economic summit.

There are three sectors – public, private and faith sector.
The three legs of the stool bring stability – each of the sectors are needed.
Just like in a football game – you sometimes need to take out a big player by a team tackle.

The Orphan crisis is so big we need to team tackle it.

500 000 orphans were scattered across Rwanda after the 100 days that saw 1000 000 people massacred.
Immediately in 1994 there were 104 orphanages started and then a national education and recruitment process
They have no closed 70 orphanages because the children are adopted by many many Christians from the churches. People came and asked to the ministry and asked for a child – and they didn’t ask if the child was hutu to tutsi they just wanted a child.
There are 34 orphanages still running – but we want to encourage domestic adoption. There are now roughly 3000 orphans left (from 500 000).

Rick explains that he serves on the president of rwanda’s advisory panel and that Rwanda wants to be the first country in the world where there are no orphans and no orphanages.


Now ambassador jacobs-

Esther was adopted by Mordecai – kinship care
Moses was adopted – don’t think things worked out as his foster care – an abandonment
Hannah – handed her son Samuel over to a relinquishment

The state department completely support transnational adoption. We think the hague convention is the only way to guarantee an ethical transnational adoption. It provides a legal framework for transnational adoption. When the hague adoption is not used there are fears of kidnapped or trafficked and often the child is not legally available for adoption. See the following website.


Now Dr Sharon Ford from Colarado explains that at the age of 10 – 12 a child can consent to their own adoption – it varies across the US. A fragile young person they might say No. We need to ask them the right question
“who are the people in your life that you are really connected to”
“who do you want to be with you when you buy a car?”
“who do you want to stand with you when you get married?”
“who do you want to be there when you graduate from college?”

A lot of our older foster children in the US are not in family foster placement because there are not enough
It is families responsibility to raise children not the state.
Justice for kids who need to be kept safe – we need enough family foster homes for to keep them safe.
This lady is on fire – its so exciting to see such a senior so fired up for the children in her care.

Ambasador says “the government needs the help of faith based organisations to help children all around the world
Sec Hilary Clinton says “every child deserves a champion” if they can’t find a champion in his or her family

The number of one determinative factor if a child succeeds in life they need the involvement of a caring adult -it does not need to be a parent.

Kids want to be connected not with another kid in a gang – they want to be connected to an adult. Will you come?
Dr Susan Jacobs is amazing – she preachers fine sermon calling everyone to action.

That was an amazing session – a real model for conferences everywhere.


Now Kay Warren is on she is electric.

She asks a simple question “If I were to die who would I want to take care of my children?”
the answer is not an orphanage – I would want t a family for them. If I want a family for my children why should I want anything less for the orphans of the world.

Saddleback aimed to have 1000 families adopt – 500 domestically and 500 transnationally.
We are over

We all need children in our life – they keep you young, growing and humble. Children need you in their life.

8 reasons why you cannot solve any global problem

the first time you use it say “Rick Warren says”
the second time you use it say “it’s been said”
the third time you say it “i have always thought”

1. We have the largest participation

2. we have the widest distribution

3. we have the longest continuation

4. the church has the fastest expansion

5. we have the highest motivation

6. we have the strongest authorization

7. we have the simplest administration

8. we have the greatest conclusion




Orphan Summit Day 1 Evening Plenary

This was my liveblogging from the evening plenary session.

We heard a very moving story from a couple from Irvine California who were part of the Safe Families initiative which aims at a preventative measure to help struggling familes avoid having their children taken into the care system. The wife explained how the mother had been given up on by everyone in her life even her church and so the wife decided she was going to believe in her. It was a really helpful insight into this project that provides another tool for churches to get alongside at risk families not just at risk children.

We then a heard a powerful story from Pastor Emanuel Jones from Liberia and the famine he experienced during the Liberian war. In the middle of the war and living his whole life without a father – from the first time he heard the gospel with clarity – he came to understand that he didn’t have an earthly father but he had a heavenly father. He explained how he became part of a UN initiative called Guns for Bibles aimed at Liberias child soldiers– “Drop your gun and Pick up a Bible” the project saw somewhere in the reason of 10 000 child soldiers disarmed. (Apparently there is quite an ambivalence towards the UN from many at the summit so this is a very helpful story). Pastor Emanuel explains that he understands that the difficult things that happened to him as a young man were so that he could help the many foster children that now call him father. The Pastor receives a standing ovation from the entire room.

Francis Chan is now on stage. Will try and capture the thrust of this talk – I won’t type fast enough to catch everything…)

We must start with thanking God for our salvation so that we don’t get arrogant. 1 John 3:16
We must avoid being quick to do and slow to thank (long pause) we have always got to thank God for the cross.
Think about all the things you did after you became a believer that were so offensive to God.
I think back to 25 years ago and i was so full of hypocrisy and sin – its a joke that I should be on stage.
It wasn’t that I was sinful and then I became a christian – I was in leadership and I still sinned against him.
Thanksgiving is the key to avoiding arrogance.
This has to be about Jesus – he is the one that has to get the glory.

The gospel centred church or the social gospel centred church – it should all be joined up.
Adoption is a physical manifestation of the gospel that we preach.

I thank God from the moment i wake up till the moment I go to bed for saving me.
I naturally lay down my life for my brothers as a result of this.
How much do you actually pray for God to ignite the hearts of people for adoption?
My daughter has released an album now and we tour around together – its a dream come true – She plays and I preach.
We prayed for her – so that the Holy Spirit comes into her life without his work we will just manage behaviour.
I told my daughter “I have never seen the Holy Spirit in your life and that scares me because if you died today I think you will go to hell.”
I balled my eyes out all night that she would know God.
I said God you have used me to bring hundreds of people to know you all around the world – but I can’t do anything in my own home.
But then she told me one day “Dad you were right the Holy Spirit was not in me – but he is now”
How much time do you spend praying for this?

(struggling with this in lots of ways-
lots of guilt being heaped on the audience:
-you are not praying enough
-you are not thanking God enough
lots of dropping in of all the things that Chan has done – I pray all night, i told my daughter, i see people won for christ all around the world… )

(note to self – must check myself when i preach that I don’t fall into this in my preaching)

Chan quotes James 1:27 (must be 10th time today from the stage… )

He’s now telling a story about a couple in their 60s who have adopted 11 foster children: Irene and Domingo and the wonderful things they are doing.
(great focus is on other people now)

Chan tells us he is 44.

We must be careful to force unregenerate people to love other people. It seems impossible that anyone would not want to adopt or foster – it seems so straight forward… But we have the Holy Spirit in our lives – we keep thinking all the time of ways in which we can help other people ( man I don’t know anyone that does that all thee time- perhaps everyone is unregenerate then?)

We now say a closing prayer.

Speaking with a friend after the talk – he found it a confusing talk – it sounded like Chan was saying anyone regenerate would adopt… but I don’t know if Chan has adopted – it was a confusing message… which was a shame because it has been a great day – lots and lots of food for thought and hundreds of ideas to take away for the UK.


Transnational Adoption vs Empowering Local Adopters

There is a real culture of adoption in the USA. In one seminar I sat in at the Summit at Saddleback church I was really moved to hear stories of lots and lots of families that have adopted children from Ethiopia, China and Russia. There is something powerful about seeing multicultural families – to visibly see mixed race families just walking around together here at the event – to see their pictures on websites is moving. It shouts something of the grace of God – that here is a family held together by grace. That because of the love of God race, class and ethnicity are not barriers for family.

RT @JointCouncil: Fun fact from #SUMMIT8 1 out of every 10 Korean Americans is a Korean adoptee.//Wow, wouldn’t have guessed that
04/05/2012 01:52


I was in a seminar this afternoon and Ruslan Maliuta from Ukraine made a public thank you to the American families that had adopted children from Ukraine. He explained how the example of these American families had challenged Ukranian families to adopt Ukranian children. He was so gracious and genuine in his thanks – but the implication in what he was saying is that it would be better for Ukranians to adopt Ukranian children. That makes sense to me too.

American brother and sisters “trust that the local church leaders know their context better than you” Eric Munyemana (rwanda) #summit8
03/05/2012 21:41

Erik Munyemana from Rwanda also graciously thanked the delegates for their partnership in orphan care but also noted that Rwandans can be partners in orphan care alongside their American brothers and sisters. He also was asking for support for Rwandan adoptive parents for Rwandan children.

There seems to be a bit of an “elephant in the room” here as to how to work through the different approaches.

I wonder if it is a mixed economy that is needed.

In the UK we have recently reopened the debate about mixed race adoption – from my conversations with health professionals, a child psychologist and social workers. There does seem to be good reason to encourage where possible same race adoption. It helps with issues of identity, not always feeling like you have to explain your family situation every time you walk in to a shop or a park. But race is one of a series of factors that make a good placement – it is not the trump card – that outweighs all other factors. if you had to chose between a child waiting indefinitely for adoption or placing a child into a mixed race setting – you would I believe certainly place a child into the mixed race placement (I argued as much on BBC News 24). Is it the same with transnational adoption – a Ukranian family may be the best for some of the adoptive children – but that does not trump all other factors for the children in question?

Anyway it would be great to have the conversations here at some point. I am no expert – just a parent in mixed race marriage with mixed race adoptive daughter who is keen to work these issues through

What do you think?


Do not invest in orphanages invest in families – Ukranian adoption expert Ruslan Maliuta #summit8
03/05/2012 21:39
Orphan Sunday-1

Why don’t we like the term Orphans in the UK?

A huge part of the Orphan Summit’s work relates to the “Global Orphan Crisis.” I know that UK readers might have a slight hesitation (ok some of us might have a major hesitation) with the term orphan. I am trying to work out why we don’t like orphan so much.

1. Is it that it sounds Dickensian – a kind of paternalistic Oliver Twist type image comes up in our minds?

2. Is is that it is not a technical term in the care system in the UK – we talk more about at risk children or children in care?

3. Is it that it sounds like the children are completely bereaved at bereft of family members – when actually many of the children needing adoptive parents or foster placements may actually have living parents who are just not able or not willing to care for them?

Would love your input on that – there feels no way we can use the word Orphan in the UK for the kind of work we are seeking to do. But nevertheless it is a strongly biblical word – 40 times in the scriptures if I am not mistaken.

So help friends – why don’t we like the term orphan ?