Gaining Pastoral Support for New Single Mom Ministries

Okay, you finally have it – your purpose in life, that thing God has called you to do on this earth! You are beyond excited. You cannot wait to start this new single moms’ ministry, outreach, group, or Sunday School class at your church for single moms. You cannot wait to bring the masses to the Lord through your efforts. You schedule your meeting with the necessary “higher-ups” of the church, be it the pastor, assistant pastor, women’s ministry team, or volunteer coordinator. Now, what should you present in the meeting?

First, we highly recommend reading The Church and the Single Mom book. Many churches do not have single moms’ ministries because they don’t know there is a need.  When setting up a meeting with your pastoral team, be sure you are prepared national statistics on single parenthood, Biblical references to God’s love for these precious families, and letters from single mothers on why they don’t go to church. It’s important that pastors understand that nationally 2 out of 3 single mothers don’t attend church, so while there may not be single moms currently in the church, they are certainly in the community and single moms’ ministry is a great way to reach them.  Take the time to share you store and what has made you so passionate about the journey of ministering to single mothers.  Once you’ve shared your story, the statistics, and Biblical references on why you believe this is the heart of God, then share the How. The Church and the Single Mom book has an entire chapter on the logistics of starting a single mom’s ministry, suggestions on frequency of meetings, when & where to meet, and much more.  You having taken the time to be prepared is going to go a long way with the pastors.

What Happens If the Pastor Says Yes:  The next steps are in regards to the logistical plans that includes meeting day and time, location, frequency of meeting, volunteer team, childcare needs, meal preparations, teaching curriculum, and the overall structure of how the meetings will go. The Life of a Single Mom Ministries has removed all the guess-work from starting this meeting. We provide a Comprehensive Single Moms’ Ministry Kit that includes a teaching DVD from our founder, customizable CD for flyers & print materials, Best Practices, books for your volunteer team to read, a 200-page workbook of things to consider before you launch, and a handy carrying tote to keep your materials together. This is where we recommend starting. Arm yourself with the tools necessary to get the job done!  Additionally, this kit details all the tips our founder used a decade ago that grew her local single moms’ support group from 3 single mothers to several hundred single mothers, one of the largest single mom’s groups in the nation! Trust us, you want this kit!

Next, you’ll need to consider teaching materials (and we have a host of different Bible studies, too!), a launch date, fundraising, volunteer training, and whether or not you want to a large singe moms’ event for kick-off. For all the information you need to know about those areas, visit our Ministry Leaders Help page.

What Happens If the Pastor Says No:  You’ve cast your vision, shared your ideas, and waited for the shared excitement, cheers, and hand claps. And then….. it happens. Silence. Blank stares. A “let-us-think-about-it” response. What do you mean ‘let me think about it’?! I mean, God has spoken. You think to yourself, as you quietly leave the meeting frustrated, hurt,  and confused. As time passes (and silence persists), you may even get a little angry. How dare they not want to reach the poor, the single mom, the disabled, the grieving (whatever your people group may be)!

Our Founder, Jennifer Maggio, was once in your shoes.  Once she finally embraced the calling and had the courage to sit down with pastors, she was so disappointed to not see them quite as excited as she was. Weeks passed. Months passed. A year passed. Time made her all the more angry. Single moms are struggling, Lord. Why don’t they get it?, she often prayed. It was during this prayer time that the Lord spoke to her heart , “Because you get it!” It was in that moment that God reminded her that his timing was perfect and to be a graceful and patient “waiter”. Today, we are so happy to report that she did launch that single moms’ program and it is because of its success that The Life of a Single Mom Ministries exists!

No doubt about it. The wait is challenging, but here are a few tips to help you navigate gaining support gracefully and patiently.

Your passion is God-given. Because you’ve walked through the journey of single parenthood or you have someone in your life that has, God has moved you with compassion to minister to others in similar situations. Doors will eventually open. Just watch and see how God moves mountains for those He loves. You don’t have to constantly talk about it, wrestle with the idea, or even fret that it will one day happen. Just trust that God loves single mothers and wants them ministered to, so He will open the door in His perfect timing. Part of how you handle that timing with being mature and respectful in the waiting will be critical to if and when you are the one that leads it.

 Pastors are busy. They are stretched in hundreds of directions with needs and demands and appointments. It is almost impossible for most pastors to keep up with the demands on their schedules. (And many passionately sojourn for Christ and get very little thanks and much criticism). His first thought, when you present the idea could very well be all the logistical challenges such as who will run it, where will the finances come from, is this really need, will I have to oversee this? Give him time to marinate on your new idea. Give him time to pray and solicit God’s direction. Give him time to even process the request. (It’s probably the 30th meeting he had this week).

Pray for your leaders. Don’t get angry, bitter, or frustrated. Pray and wait. Wait and pray. Don’t kill your witness by being an anxious, pushy “waiter”. You will feel much better about a “no” or “not now” response from your pastoral team, if you can pray with a pure heart for things they are facing in their personal lives, for God’s favor, and for their eyes to be opened. Ask them how you can serve them. What are things that are needing to be done in the church? Consider doing those. This will exhibit to the pastoral team that you are a willing servant who is also submitted and respectful to their authority.

Educate your pastoral team on the statistics that affect your particular people group, but do so lovingly and respectfully. Many churches do not have single moms’ ministries because they don’t know there is a need.  When setting up a meeting with your pastoral team, be sure you are prepared. This is why we highly recommend reading The Church and the Single Mom book first. It is full of national statistics on single parenthood, Biblical references to God’s love for these precious families, and letters from single mothers on why they don’t go to church. It’s important that pastors understand that nationally 2 out of 3 single mothers don’t attend church, so while there may not be single moms currently in the church, they are certainly in the community and single moms’ ministry is a great way to reach them.

 

– “Not now” does not mean “no.” Again, it sometimes takes time. Be patient. Recognize that there is much to be learned in the wait. Focus on what God wants to do in your heart and life to prepare you for this season. Are there areas you need to grow? Do you need to understand more of the Bible? Do you need to forgive someone who has hurt you? Do you  need to work on not getting offended so easily? Take this time to work on you.

Consider that you may not be the right leader. This is the absolute hardest one to consider, because God has birthed a passion in you. But the truth is, sometimes the passion is just for the presentation of the idea and for you to help with single moms’ ministry, but not always for you to be the primary leader. Is God calling you to find the right leader? Is He calling you to be the assistant leader or a faithful volunteer to serve the primary leader? Maybe it simply isn’t your season to lead.  Do you love single moms’ enough to help get a single mom’s ministry going without leading?

The Life of a single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. Our primary focus is in helping churches and communities launch single mom’s ministries and have done so more than 1,500 times! Our support groups connect 71,000 single mothers each year to a local church.   We are a one-stop shop for all things single mom ministry related. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.

2018-06-11T16:03:14+00:00May 24th, 2013|Help For Ministry Leaders|10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Sherry May 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Dear Jennifer,

    I have been a single mom for 7 years now, and it has been a very difficult journey with many, many parenting challenges. Today, I was presented with yet another challenge in regards to one of my teenagers. Yet, I believe that God has been preparing me for today, and I have such a peace that I know is only from Him. I am so grateful.
    In times like these, the value of a support system is critical, for both Mom and her child. I want my child to succeed as most mothers do, and we can’t do this journey alone. Hence, I believe that God wants me to start a TLSM ministry. I have had this on my heart for a while, and with the new challenge I face with my son, I am even more convinced of the value of a support system within the church. My experiences are for a reason, as well as my journey. I feel burdened for single Mom’s and want God to use me to offer them hope, to help them see that Jesus is the answer, and that He cares for them and their children.
    How ironic that God has confirmed this to me today, before I read your article on Church Leadership. To me this is another confirmation from God that I am moving forward in the right direction, and now I need to start preparing myself in prayer and study to present this ministry to the church.
    Please pray for me that God will equip me well, and strengthen me while balancing the demands of being a single mother, job seeker, and college student.
    Warm regards,

    Sherry Wright

    • Jennifer Maggio May 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      We are so excited!

    • Mellissa Henry June 7, 2013 at 3:30 am - Reply

      I sat down with the necessary leaders in my church today, this is such an affirmation of Gods Plan for me. I am also a single mom and have seen suddle hints throughout my eight year journey as a single mom that have finally come together and made me more equipped than ever to tackle this. I am proud to be a servant of our savior, I can not wait to get started!! Everyday I am amazed at the hints that I have received throughout the recent eight years of my life. I just read the book _Greater_ by Matthew Furtick and know that we all start somewhere, I had no idea eight years ago this started though so I am more excited to see what the next eight years bring.
      Thanks for encouragement!!!
      Mellissa

  2. Patti Johnson May 29, 2013 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Jennifer, I am in the process of starting a single mom’s ministry which includes a home for single mom’s who are struggling as well as a small group bible study. I am looking to start homes like this in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. I know how difficult it was as I was a single mother at age 16 and God brought me through. All I want to do is encourage and help other mothers as they raise their children. God is with them, loves them and cares for them. I have miracle after miracle how “it had to be God”. I wasn’t me moments. Please pray for this ministry as we are just starting out. I am in the process of getting a 501c3 non-profit corporation started. This is big and I’m doing for God. It’s His ministry and not mine. To God be the glory, great things He has done, great things He is doing. 🙂

    • Chandra Blackburn May 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm - Reply

      Patti Johnson, I am trying to do the same thing in Tennessee! Maybe we can chat sometime about ideas and resources?
      Chandra Blackburn, BSSW

      • Patti Johnson June 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm - Reply

        That would be awesome Chandra. Please friend me on facebook and we can start from there. My facebook webpage is http://www.facebook.com/computergrl also my ministry webpage is http://www.facebook.com/shininglighthomes

        • Tammy Smith June 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm - Reply

          Hi Patti, I was so excited to read about you on this page. God has touched my heart to step out and do the same. Would love to share back and forth with you.

          • Patti Johnson June 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm

            Tammy this is such a blessing to me to hear about your heart and willingness to touch and bless the lives of other single mothers. I have been talking with Chandra Blackburn as well via phone and facebook. I hope you are on facebook. We can talk from there and eventually communicate on the phone. I will be more than happy to share with you all I am doing. I hope that Chandra and I can shine our lights for single mothers all over the US. I am hoping to get Chandra and her ministry connected with mine here very soon. Maybe you can come on board with us. xoxo

  3. Patti Johnson June 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Hey Tammy, there are alot of Tammy Smith’s on Facebook. If you can find my website on FB: http://www.facebook.com/shininglighthomes and like it. Then I will be able to find you from there and I will contact you. Thank you Tammy.

  4. Chandra Blackburn June 13, 2013 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    🙂 Hope for the single moms everywhere!! I am so excited!! You can add me on fb too.
    -Chandra Blackburn, BSSW

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