Presenting the idea of launching a new single moms’ support group in your church can be quite intimidating, especially if you are not on staff. The Life of a Single Mom Ministries has done more than seven years of research on effective single moms’ program in churches. Here are a few tips to presenting the idea to your pastor:
1. Be prepared. Pastors and ministry leaders are super-busy, being pulled in a variety of directions every day. Be sure you have done your research on the statistics of single moms in your area, ministry ideas, costs, etc. This will not only save time, but will also let your leadership team know how dedicated you are. An appropriate presentation should include your personal story of why you have a heart for single moms, statistics on why single moms’ ministries are important, Biblical reference to why ministry to single mothers needs to exists, and a template on how to get one started. This is why we’ve removed the guess work and created The Church and the Single Mom book. This book will also highlight letters from single mothers throughout the United States and their perceptions of the local church. Pick up a copy before you meet with your pastor!
2. Have a plan. When will you start the ministry? Who will help you? Who will handle childcare? Will meals be available for the women and children? What curriculum and subject matter will you teach the single moms? Date? Times? Frequency? Location? Budget? Consider every part of the single moms’ ministry and what the details will be. (As info, The Church and the Single Mom book details a logistical plan and dedicates a chapter to ways to launch the group). For more information on recruiting volunteers, planning a single moms’ event, and more, visit our Ministry Leaders page HERE.
3. Speak from a place of hope, not accusation. Far too often, single moms who have a great desire to minister to other single moms and launch a single moms’ ministry, event, or support group speak about church leadership from a place of judgment or hurt versus hope and encouragement. For example, it is better to avoid such statements as, “When I was going through my divorce, I really didn’t feel like you guys were there for me. That’s why I want to start this ministry.” It is far better to say, “During my divorce, church was vital to my healing. I think there are many other single moms who could benefit from having a place to connect.”
4. Consider the costs. Do you have time to lead a single moms support group in your church? Have you recruited volunteers to help? Will it cost the church money or resources? Are you spiritually healthy enough to lead others? Are their old wounds, hurt, or relationships that need to be forgiven that could hinder you on the path of drawing closer to the Lord? These are all real “costs” related to launching a single mom’s ministry. You better believe when you step out in faith to honor the Lord, the enemy is not happy. Be prepared to fight!
6. Accept that you may not be the best leader of the group. This is a hard one. You may be passionate about your own journey and how hard it was and how God walked you through it, but be prayerful about who God wants to lead the ministry. It may very well be you, but it may not. It may be that the pastors love the idea of launching a program, but are hesitant to put you in charge, because you haven’t established trust with your leadership team, yet. Or maybe they simply don’t know enough about you, yet. Keep focused on the main thing, which is ministering to single moms, and accept that your time will come, if God wants you in that position.
7. Resource yourself. The more books, research, articles, websites, and first-hand experience you bring to the table, the better your meeting and future ministry will go.
8. Pray. Pray. Pray. Be patient and wait on God to move. It may not be tomorrow or next week. (In fact, our founder had to wait an entire year for a yes!) Some pastors love the idea and jump right in. Others take time. Stay committed to praying and waiting. Stay faithful to your journey. Grow while you wait. Pray for your pastoral team, single moms you know, and single moms you don’t yet know. Allow God to do what is that He does. Allow Him to move the hearts of the pastors in your community for this necessary and life-changing ministry.
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