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Episode 209: Developing Empathy & Renewing Your Calling to Serve the Vulnerable (w/ Herbie Newell)

By November 13, 2023Podcast

November is often a time when we bring additional awareness to the foster care and adoption community as many churches recognize Orphan Sunday. In honor of that, we wanted to take a moment to talk more broadly about caring for vulnerable children. We want to use this time to renew our passion for caring for the vulnerable in every stage of life including children in foster care, pregnant mothers, and families.

Joining me is Herbie Newell, an author, speaker, and the President and Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services. Under his leadership, Lifeline has increased their international outreach to 25 countries and expanded into 14 states. He lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife, Ashley, and their three children. Herbie has been working in the child welfare world for the last two decades. He and his wife share a passion for the unborn, life, and adoption and have a desire to spend their lives advocating for “the least of these.”

In this episode, we discuss the importance of increasing awareness, how we can develop compassion for people throughout the foster care and adoption community, the importance of the Church championing care for the vulnerable, and so much more.

As you listen in, I hope you walk away with a renewed passion for where you are called to serve vulnerable families!


1. We need to adapt how needs are met.

The reality is that we live in a challenging world and some communities are seeing more second and third-generation children in foster care. As a result, it’s important that we adapt to the circumstances and change how we respond to meet needs. In order to be truly effective in our ministry, we need to be aware of the challenges families, women, and children are facing and adapt our solutions.

“You have to adapt and change to truly be able to meet the needs of children and meet the needs of families and vulnerable women so we can effectively lead them to the throne of grace.”

2. Church involvement is key.

We see throughout Scripture the call to serve the fatherless, the orphan, and the widow. God has given this call specifically to the Church so that the most vulnerable will not only get their needs met but become part of a loving community. As you consider the vulnerable in your local community, consider how we you can lead the way in helping your church show loving care to them.

“It’s the call of the Church by God to be the solution to the broken and to the vulnerable.”

3. Faithfulness is not a promise of a specific outcome.

At some point, many of us have been discouraged by a situation that hasn’t ended the way we hoped. When that happens, we can feel like we failed in our calling. However, God is the one that is responsible for the results. We are called to be faithful in our serving the vulnerable, not to put the weight of every outcome on our shoulders. It is not up to us to fully control outcomes—that is the role of the Savior.

“Foster care was always meant to be temporary and it was always meant to end in some form of reunification.”


We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

Share this post or rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen) and leave us a brief review

Meet Our Guest

Herbie Newell is an author, speaker, and the President and Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services. Lifeline’s mission is to equip the Body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children. Herbie lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, Ashley, and their three children. Herbie and Ashley share a passion for the unborn, life, and adoption and have a desire to spend their lives advocating for “the least of these.”

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

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