Pastors, Do You Hear the Cry?

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):

Check out our comprehensive single moms’ ministry training kit for detailed info on how to start a single moms’ ministry at your church. Click HERE.

“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. 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 72,000 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.

2018-11-01T12:34:31+00:00June 22nd, 2012|Help For Ministry Leaders|5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Ng'ang'a Tabitha Mugure February 7, 2013 at 9:53 am - Reply

    Praise God. I live in Kenya and I am a single mother of one biological daughter and one adopted daughter. The father of my daughter left me when I was five months pregnant and that is the last time I heard from him. It was not easy to continue attending my local church due to the stigma attached to having children out of wedlock. However, after delivery there was need to dedicate my child to God in my local church. I gathered strength and approached the Pastor and he was supportive and the child was dedicated.
    I am back to my local church and I take Holy Communion. I work as secretary in a University some miles from Nairobi. To cut a long story short there are many single moms here in Kenya but they go through hell before they are accepted back to Church.

    There are a few single moms who are members of the Church I attend and there are children of single moms who attend Sunday School classes but their single moms prefer staying at home. Our God has placed a burden in my heart about starting a Single Moms program in our Church. Kindly give me some guidance on how to start this program in our Church.

    Tabitha Mugure Ng’ang’a

    • Rebecca June 16, 2018 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      As a single mom, I have been more comfortable attending general groups/service, as opposed to specific mother/singles/single parents– I would feel more isolated I think, and right now, I see that the Lord has me serving and growing in such diverse areas! Like he is building me up as a person and as a woman and mother that relies on the Lord.

      • TLSMSTAFF June 19, 2018 at 9:57 am - Reply

        Hey Rebecca, thanks so much for stopping by The Life of a Single Mom’s website and taking a moment to chime in! Praise God, you have found valuable ways to connect to your church family! That’s what it’s all about! Over the last decade, we’ve found that while single moms can enjoy integrating into other church activities, Bible studies, and church-wide events, they can also receive great value from gathering with women who are in a similar life season, as valuable insight, ideas, and encouragement can be found in those single parent gatherings. Single Moms’ Ministries aren’t meant to isolate, but rather enhance what God may be doing in other areas, too. In other words, single moms can do both — attend single mom-centric groups and attend non-single mom- centric groups. There’s value in both. The bigger challenges that pastors (and the collective body of Christ, the church) must see is that many single mothers are not actively attending a local church and a single moms’ ministry can be a conduit to welcome her into a place where she often worries she may not belong. In fact, our studies show that a church with a single moms’ ministry receives a 58% increase in single parent attendance, when launching a group!

  2. Esther Maranga December 28, 2014 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Tabitha, its a great calling that u have many single mothers hearts. I am a single mother too. I understand how hard it is to be accepted in church and the community at large. Please let me know if you organise meetings or programmes, when and where they are held.. Looking forward to your response..

  3. Rebecca June 16, 2018 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Years late response but-
    I love your perspective on such real stigmas and isolation.

    Also, it has been very humbling to me and the big ego and the pride I clung to to experience this. It has been an enduring an character building journey that the Lord has provided me. With what God had in store for me in life, I can even more so see why I went through that (still do). Praise God in all circumstances and our brothers and sisters who sometimes don’t understand their impact on our dignity. Just like I have put a foot in my mouth with other people’s sensitive trials- death, child with mental illness, etc.

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