The Life of a Single Mom Ministries hosts some of the largest single moms’ events in the United States. We love partnering with churches that have a heart to serve single parent families in their community. We love the collective body of Christ coming together to make events ripe for the presence of the Lord to change lives and encourage single mothers who may be broken, hurting, or just need a little encouragement. That said, the following list is compiled from more than a decade of “trying it all” to see what works. We’re sharing a tips on how to ensure a successful single moms’ event. Here are a few tips on hosting your next single parent’s event.
Don’t discount the prep work! Have you ever been somewhere and you weren’t sure you were supposed to be there? Maybe you were new to a church and you couldn’t find your Bible study group. Or maybe your children are new to the school and you are trying to find their classrooms. Whatever the case, there is certain awkwardness when you stumble into a new environment, unsure and nervous. Lack of planning and preparation in ministry can be similar. You don’t know where you are, what you are doing, or if you are really supposed to be there.
Ministry is serious. It’s God’s work. It’s about bringing others into relationship with our Savior. God works through people. He works through us – you and me. We are examples of his grace. We show others God’s love through how we treat them. Ministry is about Heaven or Hell. It’s not to be taken lightly. And make no mistake. Whether you work full-time at a church or simply volunteer on the weekends, you are in ministry. We all are. Taking time to plan and prepare for your ministry assignment is important.
When planning a single moms’ event, it is best to have a single moms’ support group or ministry established in your church, first. This group will give you the backbone you need to build your event. The active participants in your group know other single moms. They will be your voice in the community. They will be your planners, volunteers, and cheering squad. Additionally, one of the goals of the single moms’ event is to draw the saved closer to God and to reach the unsaved. Once you have someone fired up about the things of God, you’ll want an effective Bible study to connect them to for long-term discipleship. Thus, having a single moms’ ministry in place and running smoothly will be even more important. Don’t assume they will naturally connect into a women’s ministry or another group. Single moms’ ministries are statistically proven to draw in more single moms.
Be sure to plan, plan, plan. Think through the logistics. How will the event be paid for? Will you have a speaker? If so, who? Will you have giveaways or door prizes? Will you have worship music? What can you do to make this event special, unique? Do you have someone to runs lights and sound? Keep those who are not part of your church in mind. What can you do to make it more outreach-focused?
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance. Col. 3:23-24
Childcare is a must. Single parents are single. They don’t the luxury of leaving the kids home with a spouse. They may not be able to afford a babysitter. Hosting an event for a single parent event without childcare is like hosting a Thanksgiving outreach without ham. You gotta have it.
Consider budget, but don’t let it be a hindrance. We’ve all been to that baby shower, wedding, or family event, where they ran out of food. Awkward. It is responsible to know how much you can spend on a single moms’ event, of course, but don’t skimp. We’ve all been to those events where it was clearly poorly planned and the budget was skimpy. We don’t want to have single moms leave our event hungry, because we didn’t have the money to feed them. We don’t want them to leave spiritually unfed, because we just threw someone on the stage to speak, who God never intended to be there. Take your time. Fundraise, if necessary. Here is a great list of fundraising ideas. But serve these parents with excellence.
Advertise. Do it early and do it often. Since most single moms’ support groups are less than 20 attendees in local churches, most churches feel that single parent conferences, single parent nights of worship, or some similar program may not be an effective use of a limited budget. But what we have often found is that once a church really gets behind the idea of advertising the event (and once they realize two out of three single parents are not attending any church), we see the events grow.
Check out our full single moms’ event planning checklist HERE.
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