Churches to observe Blue Sunday

By Shepherding the Next Generationblsndyapr13

Prominent megachurches and hundreds of of other churches around the country will observe Blue Sunday, a day of prayer for abused and neglected children, on April 28. Shepherding the Next Generation, a network of evangelical pastors and faith leaders, is working with churches to promote awareness and action for the estimated 611,000 children who were victims of abuse and neglect in 2011, and the 1,570 children who died as a result.

“Children hold a special place in the Savior’s heart (Matthew 19) so doesn’t it stand to reason we should care deeply about them also?” said nationally-known Pastor Steve Mays, of nearly-10,000-member Calvary Chapel Southbay in Los Angeles, and member of Shepherding the Next Generation.

“When God’s people are shown a need, the only appropriate response is to fill that need just as He would,” said Pastor Jay Dennis, Senior Pastor of 9,000-member-First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Florida, and member of Shepherding the Next Generation.

On the last Sunday in April, churches commit to pray for the victims and their rescuers. Participating congregations may also hold toy drives, host community forums, or commit to volunteer in ways that support at-risk children and families.

“Pastors have unique insights about their congregations, and a strong sense of the challenges young parents and families are facing,” said Tom Pearce, the national director of Shepherding the Next Generation. “As members of Shepherding the Next Generation, they know that preventing child abuse and neglect is essential for healthy families.”

Pearce explained that proven strategies to prevent abuse and neglect include parent coaching, and encouraging mentoring and discipleship relationships within the church.

Shepherding the Next Generation is a national nonprofit organization of more than 250 evangelical pastors and ministry leaders who are committed to the development of strong and healthy American families. To learn more about Blue Sunday, visit

Disclaimer: Articles featured on Oregon Report are the creation, responsibility and opinion of the authoring individual or organization which is featured at the top of every article.