Jennifer Maggio is considered a leading authority on single parents and womens issues. She is an award-winning author and speaker who draws from her own experiences through abuse, homelessness, and teen pregnancy to inspire audiences everywhere. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and writes for dozens of publications. She has been featured with hundreds of media outlets, including The 700 Club, Daystar Television, Moody Radio, Focus on the Family, and many more. For more information, visit thelifeofasinglemom.com.
To date, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries has worked with more than 1500 churches throughout the United States to help them launch, grow, or improve their single moms’ ministry programs. We specialize in single moms’ curriculum, event planning, program development, and are considered a one-stop shop for all things single moms ministry related. And…we are often asked, “What about single dads’ ministries? Where do all the single dads go to get help?”
With approximately 80% of all domiciliary custody in the United States being held by women, we recognize that the biggest need is in the single mothers’ home. This is what we see as the biggest ministry opportunity. And we cannot do everything or be everywhere. That said, we do recognize that single dads exist and want to address some things that we think will be effective in ministering to the needs of single dads.
We believe that single dads’ ministries are important and can be launched in a church very similarly to a single mothers’ ministry. They can co-exist quite nicely, the same way that singles ministries, divorce recovery programs, grief ministries, and widows ministries can all co-exist in the same church. In other words, there are many opportunities to meet the needs of many singles in our congregation. Single Dads may not be as large of a demographic, but launching a program can be a great way to find those single dads in the community who are overwhelmed, exhausted, and alone. A great way to start is with a small single dad’s Bible study launching in someone’s home (with the church’s approval).
Co-ed single parent’s ministries can work, but we suggest gender-exclusive ministries that co-mingle on a regular basis. Single Moms can be devastated by a divorce, failed relationship, or death of a spouse, as can single dads. Co-ed environments can create a level of discomfort among those who have not yet healed from such an event. They can also be a breeding ground for unhealthy relationships, when individuals are not ready to move on. We suggest separate single moms’ ministries and single dads’ ministries that get together for fun events regularly, such as barbecues, family fun nights, and the like.
(Please note: All churches we work with have the complete autonomy to make the decisions that work best for their church, congregation, and long-term vision. We are a consulting service for single moms’ ministries. We highlight what we see as national trends and industry standards that work best, but there is no right or wrong. As ministry evolves, we also recognize that needs change, too. We recommend praying and seeing how God would lead in this area.)
Some of our favorite single dads’ ministries and programs are as follows:
SINGLE DADS RESOURCES: While a variety of our TLSM Resources can be (and are) used by both single moms and single dads, we also want to refer you to other friends we’ve found serve single dads exclusively.
For additional encouragement, check out:
A Father’s Walk for additional encouragement.
Fatherhood.org (Please note this is not an exclusively Christian organization.)
The Life of a Single Mom’s National Resource Pamphlet to help find resources for education, housing, financial assistance, and more encouragement can be found HERE.
CHURCH OPPORTUNITIES FOR MINISTRY TO SINGLE DADS: There are ways that the church can get involved in ministering to single fathers and the opportunities are only limited by your imagination, but here are a few things we suggest:
MENTORING SERVICES: Mentoring is a great way for single dads to get involved in mentoring fatherless youth. We know you are busy, but you also bring great value to the body of Christ when you can invest in children who don’t have a positive male role model. It will also give you a sense of purpose as you serve others. There are a number of great mentoring services available in different areas of the United States. While listing below does not constitute any formal partnership, we like these two groups:
New Commandment Men’s Ministries allows men in the church to serve single mothers and widows in an organized way. To institute a men’s ministry team in your church, check their website out. This is also a great way for single dads to be busy on the weekend, allowing them a chance to fellowship with other dads.