Originally published Tuesday, 03 April 2012.
When God called me oh so long ago to begin my work with single mothers across the country, I can remember feeling so ill-equipped. In fact, I was a young single mom myself. I was the only single mom attending my small community church. I felt like there was no one out there who could fully comprehend the magnitude of my heart break, my "aloneness".
Fast-forward several years. As God has begun to expose his heart for the single parent family in an unbelievable way, more and more opportunities present themselves for our ministry to step in and create a home for single mothers within the church. One of the number one things I hear from both single parents and pastors alike is, "Help, there are no single parents in my church!"
Churched single moms want to have other single moms that they can relate to. Consequently, they desire more single moms in the church.
Pastors have a heart to reach their communities and they, too, want single moms in the church.
So, why is it that 67% of single parents do not actively attend our churches. This is a hard question that many of us as fellow Christians, church leaders, ministry workers, and volunteers must be asking ourselves.
Points to ponder:
Do I do everything I can within my sphere of influence to make single parents feel welcome?
Does my church offer a single parent ministry?
Do I know single parents that aren't attending church? What have I done to get them there?
How do I become the hands and feet of Jesus for a single mom in my life? Do I offer to babysit for free? Do I buy an occasional box of chocolates for her? Do I bless her with groceries? Do i write an encouraging note?
The single parent family isn't going away. In fact, by all accounts, it is a growing population, so what are we doing to get them into our churches?
Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and speaker who is considered one of the nation's leading authorities on single parent issues. She is founder of the international nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries - an organization committed to seeing single mothers connected to the local house of God and committed to educate churches on just how to do that. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.