As part of this week’s series on “The Gospel and Ministry to Singles” I wanted to take a moment to support single mothers.
I asked a friend for her perspective on being a single mom in our church. She responded:
“I think our numbers in the world are larger than what seems to be represented in the church. Would our demographic grow in the church if there was more programming? Particularly parenting help--more than just classes, but help prioritizing spiritual guidance for our children, access to help getting things done--babysitting coops, handyperson services, connections to resources, even social activities. This may not be the church's responsibility, but it would be a great service for the church to provide or instigate or support.”
Not every church can (or even should) start a large program for single moms. But, it is important to look at how many single moms are in your community and what your church is doing to reach out to this demographic.
- 2/3 of single moms do not attend church
- Only 1% of the country’s 300,000 evangelical churches has a sustainable single-parent program
- 1/3 of single moms live in poverty
- 75% of all government assistance is received by single-parent households
Here are some tips for reaching more moms:
- Offer Bible Studies/events at a variety of days and times. A stay-at-home mom may prefer a study during a week day, but working mothers may need something in the evening or on a weekend.
- Offer child care and (if applicable) a meal for the children. It is not easy getting home from work, feeding your kids, and getting out to a church group. Make it more accessible and more women will be likely to come.
- Promote your events. You don’t necessarily need a large advertising budget. Post events on Facebook or Instagram and encourage your church members to share your posts. Perhaps even create a simple flyer and get permission to hang them in apartment complexes, day care centers, or other places around town.
- Compile a list of resources. This may include recommended babysitters, reputable repair shops, favorite doctors in your area, contact information for government assistance, or church members willing to help in their areas of expertise (legal advice, roof repair, tax returns, etc.).
- Offer classes with practical help as well as spiritual. Financial and parenting classes are often highly valued.
What tips would you add? Comment below.