I wrote an article entitled, “Why Single Moms Don’t Go to Church” in response to my opinion on why almost 70% of single mothers in our country are not actively involved in the local body of Christ. You can read that article HERE.
Within minutes of its release, our ministry received hundreds of responses via social media, emails, and comments. Single moms poured their hearts out on the pages that followed. Here are a couple of the many responses (names withheld):
“I’ll tell you why single moms don’t go to church! Because this past Mothers Day, when the pastor called all the couples up so the husband can pray over their wives, I felt like a complete idiot! My older children just looked at me pathetically sitting there with my 2 year old on my lap. A most embarrassing moment and at church no less! I have no family and few friends.My kids cling to their father, because he has a family to share with them, a new girlfriend, and all the fun. More rejection, more alone, more isolation from my church for not being remarried. This stinks!!!” – A frustrated, single mom
“When I worked in children’s ministry years ago, I talked with our pastor about helping a single mom with transportation to and from church. His response? ‘Do we really want that type of mom in our church anyway?’ I decided then and there that something had to be done. ” – a ministry leader
“We held a single moms class in our church for a brief period of time, but very few moms committed, so why bother?” – a pastor
I had a similar experience to one of the stories listed above many years ago. I was a young, single mom who was barely existing in the church, because I was so ashamed of my circumstances. The pastor called all the moms to the stage on this particular Mother’s Day and asked their husbands or children to come pin a corsage to their blouse. My children were both under two at the time and obviously, I had no spouse. I stood there several minutes, smiling, wondering what to do. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, a woman noticed me and quickly rushed to pin a flower on me, before we exited the stage. I was beyond embarrassed. I have never forgotten that moment, or the many like it, that I experienced in my years of parenting alone. And I know that the Lord reminds me daily of such moments, so that I arise every morning, refueled with the passion to see single mothers living a life of freedom that only Christ brings.
Pastors, I urge you to get involved in the fight to see single mothers connected to the house of God, the fight to see our fatherless children mentored and encouraged. If your first thought is, “Well, we don’t have any single moms in our church”, then please understand that is problem number one! With 15 million single mothers in our country and approximately 9 million not connected to a local church, there is much work to be done.
If you are thinking, “We do outreaches for single moms occasionally,” or “Why can’t they just join our women’s ministry?”, then please understand that less than 1% of all Christian churches do anything for single moms. And of the few who do, many simply do not know how to sustain a long-term single moms support group, ministry, or Sunday School class. A 10-week single parenting class is not a long-term sustainable ministry. What do the moms do AFTER the class is over?
Meanwhile, single mothers are often drowning in debt, feelings of isolation, and parenting woes. May the local church begin to see the needs of single mothers, consider creative ways to launch, grow, and maintain single moms’ ministries, events, and outreach programs to ensure that no single mom walks alone. To ensure their kids are raised in a Christian, loving, home.
For encouraging tips on how to start, grow, or maintain a single moms’ ministry in your church, visit our Ministry Leader’s Help page often.
The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com