Tips from Compassion Sunday Pros

We’re getting so excited for Compassion Sunday on April 26! This is a day when thousands of children living in poverty will gain a sponsor and new opportunities for their lives. But we know that hosting Compassion Sunday can be a little intimidating, especially if it’s your first time.

Never fear! We’ve asked a few people who are old pros at hosting Compassion Sunday what they would like to share with people who are thinking of hosting their first one at their church. Meet Paige, Anji and Brenda who are here to share their Compassion Sunday Tips!

Compassion Sunday Tips Paige

Paige Farmer: Hailing from Mobile, Alabama, Paige has hosted six Compassion Sundays. She and her fabulous husband/fellow child advocate, Josh, have been married 13 years and have 3 beautiful children.

Compassion Sunday Tips Angi

Anji Sisler: Veterinarian and mother of four, Anji has been advocating for children in poverty for 12 years. She and her husband live in Chicago, Illinois, with their family where she has hosted seven Compassion Sundays.

Compassion Sunday Tips Brenda

Brenda DeWalt Having sponsored children for 16 years and hosted three Compassion Sundays, Brenda is from Commerce City. She married her first-ever crush, is a mom to three adopted children and writes as a blogger.

What tips would you give on talking with your pastor?

Paige: Compassion offers a Church Leader Guide that is specifically for approaching your pastor. It has some very helpful information. Remember that your pastor is human. He is likely bombarded with requests to share about specific ministries on a weekly basis. Respect his time and family, and schedule a meeting at his convenience.

Make sure you tell him why you choose to partner with Compassion, what difference it has made in your family, and how your family is growing more like Christ through partnering with Compassion. Pastors want their churches to grow spiritually and sponsoring a child with Compassion is a great way to do that.

What tips do you have for setting up a table?

Brenda: Organize packets by region so people can easily locate a child in a particular part of the world. Having laptops or tablets has been helpful since we have run out of packets the last two Compassion Sundays.

Anji: Have clipboards handy or even an empty table so that people can fill out their acceptance forms. This frees up space for others to look at the child packets. Also, enlist help from one or two other sponsors who can help you answer questions at the table and help get people signed up.

What tips do you have for giving a presentation?

Paige: I usually let my husband do the speaking at our Compassion Sundays. He thrives speaking in front of people; I do not. I usually sound like I’ll break into tears at any moment. But when I have given a presentation, I just speak from the heart. I believe the best way to do that is to talk about your own sponsored child(ren). Talk about their hopes and dreams. Talk about their prayer requests. Talk about their personal struggles and family life and community. Use pictures to tell the story, including drawings from your child, their letters, and photos. I also make sure to tell listeners what makes Compassion distinct: They’re Christ-centered, child-focused, church-based, and committed to integrity.

What tips do you have for praying for Compassion Sunday?

Brenda: Spread the child packets in an area you will often walk by. Pray over a few by name and ask others within your church to help you pray for the rest. We also place packets on the seats in our auditorium the day of the event and ask each person to pray over the child whose packet is on their seat. If they are able and so choose, they can be the answer to their own prayer and sponsor that child. If they are not able to, they can pray specifically for that child and for that child’s future sponsor to connect soon.

What if your church can’t host a Compassion Sunday?

Brenda: I would encourage sponsors to host a Compassion Open House in their home — invite people over for dinner or some kind of food and host a mini Compassion Sunday in your home or with a friend. I’ve even posted on Facebook that I would be at a certain coffee shop during a certain time with packets if anyone wanted to come by and find out more about sponsoring a child.

Is there anything you’d like to share with those considering hosting a Compassion Sunday?

Anji: Don’t think too long about the decision. If you’re passionate about Compassion and about seeing other kids find sponsors, just do it. Yes, it’s hard work. And yes, it’s scary to put yourself out there, but just think of the payoff! There is nothing that compares with standing at the sign-up table, seeing people approaching the table to sponsor, and realizing that people have caught the vision! All the time and energy you put into your presentation is worth it if even one child finds a sponsor.

Have you hosted a Compassion Sunday at your church? Share your pro tips in the comments below!

If you’re all signed up and ready to host your Compassion Sunday this year, be sure to share your journey and tips with #compassionsunday.

Learn more about Compassion Sunday and how you can host one at your church any time of the year.

2 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Uwimana Hannah February 27, 2015

    Any tips for hosting a Compassion Sunday outside of a church? Our church is heavily involved with another sponsorship organization, which means they are not really open to Compassion right now. We will keep praying!

    1. Emily Vanhoutan February 27, 2015

      Hi there! We understand if your church feels led to give in other ways and we certainly want to respect your pastors decision in not hosting a Compassion Sunday at your church. We do request that regardless of where the event is held, you must have your Pastor’s permission to do so. Compassion believes strongly in serving the local church, and in order to accomplish this, we want to ensure that the church leadership is on board and fits within their mission.

      There are many other ways to spread the word about Compassion! 🙂 While these materials were created with a church service setting in mind, there is no reason why they could not be adapted for a smaller group. Feel free to be creative!

      – Host a Compassion Sunday with your Bible study (with your pastors permission)
      – Have a brunch or get together in your home and share about child sponsorship with your friends/family
      – Share the materials with a friend and help them host an event at their church
      – Share with your MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group

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