Sidewalk Advocacy refers to the 11th-Hour outreach that takes place outside the abortion facility. It involves actively encouraging a woman to choose life, empowering her to leave the abortion facility, and ministering to all present to bring about a conversion of heart. The sidewalk advocate encourages the mother to choose life by making her aware of the variety of free or low cost serves available to her and her family.
Sidewalk Advocates, affiliated with Sidewalk Advocates for Life, inspires trust through compassionate and non-threatening conversation in order to determine and address the needs of the mother. This advocacy enables the woman to process her situation from a logical versus emotional perspective.
Traditionally known as “sidewalk counseling,” sidewalk advocacy is a re-branded term that emphasizes the peaceful, prayerful, law-abiding methods of this ministry with love as its centerpiece.
Looking across the country, Sidewalk Advocates for Life, found a handful of prevalent methods that have proved effective. We are incredibly grateful for all those who have helped to develop modern, peaceful sidewalk counseling methodology. Studying these methods, the main thing that they all hold in common is this: reach her heart, and help fill the need(s) that brought her (and others with her) to the abortion facility. Thus, we take a very woman-oriented approach to sidewalk advocacy, believing that we cannot save pre-born children without also helping their mothers and families.
Sidewalk Advocates for Life offers two levels of training: first, we offer a short training manual (about 30 pages) that details how to set up the program with a small team in your local community and facilitate a sidewalk advocacy training; second, we offer a 5 – hour DVD training that can be shown in a church room or other venue to train interested Sidewalk Advocates in your community. At this time, we are also offering this training virtually.
Additionally, our training is very comprehensive – meaning, we discuss how to serve at the abortion facility in a variety of scenarios. For example, we equip the Sidewalk Advocate to reach out to those who might be entering the abortion or abortion referral facility for services other than abortion, admonishing them to think about where their money is going; then, we teach them to fill that need with another local resource that doesn’t support the abortion business. We also equip Sidewalk Advocates to serve in unusual situation, such as when the mother says she was raped or her life is in danger; similarly, we equip those in our program to reach out to abortion workers and post-abortive women. We profile a variety of real-life examples in the training, and of course, we offer ongoing, full time, staff support so you can be as effective as possible.
To summarize, we cover the following topics in the training:
TWO WORDS – NO WAY!
We find that the most effective way to reach a woman’s heart is to be peaceful, prayerful, and law-abiding; literally loving her into another place. We don’t want that woman to just ‘not choose abortion,’ but we want to plant seeds for a real change of heart that is lasting and impacts her forever. If that woman doesn’t trust you in the short time that you have with her, she will often run the other direction … right into the abortion facility! Your goal is to win people over so that they will be open to your message. Abortion is always a tragedy, but the way in which we deliver that message is incredibly important, lest we lose hearts along the way.
Are there times that you might need to say ‘tougher things’ to explain the reality of abortion? Yes. There are often people that don’t understand the gravity of what they’re doing. Still, we can be firm and bold without patronizing someone and again, ultimately losing their listening ear.
Our goal is ALWAYS to be an example in the way that we conduct ourselves on the sidewalk. This peaceful method has documented thousands of lives saved and eternal souls impacted over the past sever years on the sidewalk.
No, Sidewalk Advocates for Life recognizes that people are very busy. Your local sidewalk advocacy program leader, Sidewalks of Hope in Granite City, IL., will schedule sidewalk advocates in front of the abortion facility depending on everyone’s schedule and availability.
Since there is no more important work than defending God’s children, any time that you can spend on the sidewalk utilizing the training that we provide and bearing witness to the dignity of every human life is vitally import and very much appreciated.
One of our great passions is bringing together the Body of Christ across denominational lines to stand for the greatest gift we have apart from Christ Himself – that is, the gift of life. This isn’t a task for one church, one movement, one leader or even one ministry, but a universal call to “speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves” (cf. Proverbs 31:8-9) and to “defend those being led to the slaughter” (cf Proverbs 24:11).
In the past several years, we have seen incredible growth in this area, as those who don’t always see eye-to-eye theologically are willing to stand arm-and-arm on the sidewalk to love our preborn brothers and sister and their families. We believe that anytime we find ways to work together to save lives, it pleases our Lord (cf. John 17).
We have carefully constructed the training to be compatible with Christian teaching and a Judeo-Christian ethic. This means that our spiritual advisors from various denominations (Catholic and Protestant” have let us know that they find there is nothing in the training that conflicts with Christian doctrine. Similarly, our staff and Board of Directors takes this very seriously, as we do not want to do anything to violate our faith and conscience. We constantly evaluate the program to be sure that we honor the Lord in everything that we do, and that our methods are welcoming to those from all different walks.
It is our hope and prayer that all Christians and those who choose to share in this mission will recognize the urgency of this call and respond generously in love.
Only individuals who sign the Sidewalk Advocates for Life “Pledge of Integrity” and complete the basic training with the intention of taking hours on the sidewalk may call themselves a Sidewalk Advocate with Sidewalk Advocates for Life. You can search for locations by going to https://sidewalkadvocates.org/locations/.
If you are interested in joining Sidewalk Advocate for Life at the Granite City location the very first step is completing an application for virtual training, which can be found here: https://sidewalkadvocates.org/trainingapp/
Applicant Instructions: You should see the title, “Virtual Training Application”, at the top of the form. Compete the Personal and Community Information and provide references. Once your application has been processed you will be contacted by your Local Director. If you have any questions, please contact Granite City Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Sidewalk Advocates for Life Programs Team at email@example.com
If you wish to bring Sidewalk Advocates for Life to another community, you are invited to apply at sidewalkadvocates.org/apply — we’d be honored to serve you! Any questions about starting a location can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sidewalks of Hope will work with you to understand your calling. You won’t be rushed or pressured. If you’re interested and approved, we’ll provide you the sidewalk advocacy training you need to be successful. You’ll never be alone. Experienced sidewalk advocates, men and women who have completed the SAFL training, will walk with you every step of the way.
Many sidewalk advocates begin by participating in a local 40 Days for Life campaign. It’s a great way to gain deeper insight into the various sidewalk advocacy roles in the company of wonderfully generous and compassionate individuals. You’ll see first hand the importance of the prayer partner and observe sidewalk advocates as they minister to women and others they encounter.
Click here to learn more about the 40 Days for Life campaign in Granite City, IL.
“Come and you will see.” John 1:39