What’s Compassion’s Theology? Answering Your Compassion Questions, Part 1

November 24, 2009 at 9:09 pm 3 comments

Before I took off for El Salvador with Compassion International, I asked you guys if you wanted to know anything about child sponsorship. You really rose to the occasion, and sent some really thoughtful questions. So thank you for that.

Initially, I was going to respond to them individually, but as I talk to more and more people about sponsorship, I think the questions and issues raised are more global, and so deserve a more public forum for answering.

Spending the week with Shaun Groves, our trip leader (and an awesome guy), I got to ask all the questions I could think of. He was so gracious and always helpful. Turns out, when he went on his first Compasssion trip, he went as a skeptic, since he had previously been involved with a different childrens’ organization that didn’t use their money the way they said they did. He was won over by Compassion International, and now travels around and devotes most of his career (and a large percentage of his heart) to their ministry.

So, we’ll start with the first question!

Laura asked:

I sponsor a child in Kenya and wonder about the theology that she’s taught. How does Compassion choose which local churches to work with? Are they mostly theologically uniform, or is there some diversity of belief about what might be called “non-essentials” among the projects?


  • Compassion International sets up their child sponsorship “projects” through local churches. That’s the only way they do it in every country they work in.
  • In the early days, Compassion had to go looking for church partners. Now, most of the time, churches come find them, because their reputation is so upstanding and the local congregations see the benefits of hosting a Compassion project and want that for the children in their neighborhoods!
  • All churches must subscribe to the statement of faith of the National Association of Evangelicals. No exceptions.

So if this was the burning question you had that’s keeping you from sponsoring, and you feel satisfied with this answer, go ahead and sponsor.

Or if you’ve just been undecided or forgetful or apathetic or confused (really, you can just insert any of those adjectives here & you would’ve been describing me a few months ago)… go ahead and sponsor.

Entry filed under: Compassion.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Laura @Texas in Africa  |  November 25, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Thanks for answering my question, Molly! As somebody who’s lived in a poor country and studied what makes local responses to poverty effective, I am 100% convinced that working through solid local churches is the way to go.

  • 2. Jessica  |  November 25, 2009 at 8:47 am

    And as MamasBoy queried, how is the family’s (typically Catholic) religious background taken into consideration?

  • 3. MamasBoy  |  December 1, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Does Compassion really require churches in the third world to reject the idea that Jesus is the perfect, sinless, infallible, authoritative Word of God Incarnate? I can’t believe that they do, so there must be exceptions to requiring that people embrace the statement of faith of the National Association of Evangelicals.


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