Common Objections to
Starting a Sidewalk-Counseling Ministry
1. I don’t have time to launch this ministry in my church.
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:11-12a). Pastors are given the responsibility to equip their people for the work of ministry. Every local church represents countless potential to serve their city through the Saints. As the body of Christ, we all have different gifts. In congregations across the country, believers may be called to serve in this ministry. As we work together, we can collectively share the burden.
2. I don’t want to be political.
Christians are not against abortion because it is a political issue, we reject it because it is a gospel issue. Human beings made in the image of God are to be protected whatever stage of life they are in. We cannot be silent when God has spoken.
3. This ministry may grieve women in my church who have had abortions.
The reality that so many women in churches are grieving abortions is all the more reason to implement a sidewalk-counseling ministry. As those who have seen the devastation that abortion brings first-hand, our churches should be on the frontline of seeking to spare others from the hurt. Many churches have also testified of how healing this minsitry has been, giving women an opportunity to use their past experience to share hope with others. Some have led post-abortion recovery groups which apply the gospel directly to the sin and grief caused by abortion. One such study is Forgiven and Set Free.
Through the truth of the gospel, the women in your church can receive healing. But if the issue of abortion is avoided altogether, there is the risk that many may continue to grieve alone.
4. Sidewalk-counseling ministry seems intolerant.
Toleration of injustice is not a virtue, but is instead a direct violation of Romans 12:9a which tells us to “Abhor what is evil.” As we speak truth to these women, we want to make clear that they are welcomed in our churches. But as the people of God, we cannot tolerate the death of millions of image-bearers through abortion.
5. Isn’t voting pro-life enough?
So long as abortion is still legal, there is always more work to do in defending the unborn.
6. My church is too small to start a pro-life ministry.
The Lord has used small groups of people to accomplish great things for the kingdom. No church is too small to speak for the life. As churches work together in cities across the nation, we can see the body of Christ bringing hope.
7. Why not leave pro-life ministry in the hands of para-church organizations?
Praise the Lord for every organization that is taking a stand against abortion. Yet, abortion is still legal in our country and every day there are women walking into abortion clinics who need hope. Local churches cannot be silent while this great need exists in our communities. Therefore, our churches should labor alongside faithful para-church organizations. If local churches across the nation would start S4U chapters, we could see hundreds of Christians praying and talking to the women pursuing abortion every single day.
Further, each S4U chapter is under the authority of the pastors/elders of local churches. Therefore, this ministry provides opportunities for churches to advance the Great Commission through evangelism. It also provides a way for church members to labor side-by-side and build one another up in the process. In all of this, God alone gets the glory.
8. We already have an adoption ministry, isn’t that enough?
It is a wonderful thing to have an adoption ministry in a local church. In fact, this is a key component to being the kind of pro-life people the gospel calls us to! But while we seek to put orphans in families, we cannot ignore the cries of those being put to death in our own cities. It is a both-and, not an either/or.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58