Gaining Pastoral Support for New Ministries by Jennifer Maggio

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 ministry, outreach, group, or Sunday School class at your church. 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, or volunteer coordinator. You cast your vision, share your ideas, and wait for the shared excitement, cheers, and handclaps. 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 leave the meeting frustrated 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)!

I, too, was once in your shoes. I remember the moment God whispered to my heart to minister to single moms in some way. I actually ran from the calling on my life for ten years. Not me, God. I’m not good enough, smart enough, or equipped enough. After I finally embraced my calling and relinquished my fears to God, I was beyond excited to get started. I sat down with my pastoral team and thought we would launch our single parent program the following week. Weeks passed. Months passed. A year passed. Time made me all the more angry. Single moms are struggling, Lord. Why don’t they get it?, I often prayed. It was during this prayer time that the Lord spoke to my heart with my answer, “Because you get it!” It was in that moment that God reminded me that his timing was perfect and I should be a graceful and patient “waiter”. Today, I am happy to report that we did launch that single moms’ program and it has grown to be one of the largest in the nation. But, I learned a great deal while in the wait.

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, 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.

 Pastors are busy. They are stretched in hundreds of directions. 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”.

Educate your pastoral team on the statistics that affect your particular people group, but do so lovingly and respectfully.

– “Not now” does not mean “no.” Again, it sometimes takes time.

Don’t give up. The Holy Spirit does the work you could never do.

 Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and speaker who travels the country sharing her personal story of homelessness, abuse, and teen pregnancy. She is founder of the global nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom, and has appeared on countless radio and television programs. For more information, visit

2016-10-17T16:13:54+00:00 May 24th, 2013|Uncategorized|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!!!

  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 also my ministry webpage is

        • 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: 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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