Presenting the idea of launching a new single moms’ support group in your church can be quite intimidating, especially if you are not on staff. The Life of a Single Mom Ministries has done more than seven years of research on effective single moms’ program in churches. Here are a few tips to presenting the idea to your pastor:
1. Be prepared. Pastors and ministry leaders are super-busy, being pulled in a variety of directions every day. Be sure you have done your research on the statistics of single moms in your area, ministry ideas, costs, etc. This will not only save time, but will also let your leadership team know how dedicated you are.
2. Have a plan. When will you start the ministry? Who will help you? Who will handle childcare? Meals? What will you teach? When will you meet? Consider every part of the ministry and what the details will be.
3. Speak from a place of hope, not accusation. Far too often, single moms who have a great desire to minister to other single moms speak about church leadership from a place of judgement or hurt versus hope and encouragement. For example, it is better to avoid such statements as, “When I was going through my divorce, I really didn’t feel like you guys were there for me. That’s why I want to start this ministry.” It is far better to say, “During my divorce, church was vital to my healing. I think there are many other single moms who could benefit from having a place to connect.”
4. Read a copy of The Church and the Single Mom. This book is full of statistics and stories from single moms around the country. It also highlights Biblical instruction on ministering to single moms, the advantages of single parents’ ministry being hosted in churches, and how to launch one on a very limited budget. These are all things that pastors and church leaders would be interested in. Have a copy of the book for the pastor at your meeting.
5. Consider the costs. Do you have time to lead a single moms support group in your church? Have you recruited volunteers to help? Will it cost the church money or resources?
6. Accept that you may not be the best leader of the group. This is a hard one. You may be passionate about your own journey and how hard it was and how God walked you through it, but be prayerful about who God wants to lead the ministry. It may very well be you, but it may not. It may be that the pastors love the idea of launching a program, but are hesitant to put you in charge, because you haven’t established trust with your leadership team, yet. Or maybe they simply don’t know enough about you, yet. Keep focused on the main thing, which is ministering to single moms, and accept that your time will come, if God wants you in that position.
7. Resource yourself. The more books, research, articles, websites, and first-hand experience you bring to the table, the better your meeting and future ministry will go.
8. Pray. Pray. Pray. Be patient and wait on God to move. It may not be tomorrow or next week. Some pastors love the idea and jump right in. Others take time. Stay committed to praying and waiting.
The Life of a Single Mom Ministries is committed to connecting single moms to a local church. We are committed to educating churches on proven methods to launching single parent programs, as well. We have served more than 20,000 single parents and 1200 churches world-wide. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.