With a growing number of churches within the body of Christ embracing the need to minister to single parents as a rapidly-growing demographic across the United States, many questions have arisen (along with a little confusion) regarding the topic. We’d like to address some of the many questions that we address on a regular basis:
Doesn’t single moms ministry support divorce, unwed pregnancy, or unbiblical behavior? No. As the body of Christ, we should continue to teach sexual purity and forever-marriage, but … the reality is that we all have fallen short of God’s glory. And while some single mothers exist through no fault of their own, some have also made mistakes. Regardless of their arrival to the journey, they are here. And we cannot ignore the need to minister and encourage them. Just as drug addiction programs don’t support drug use, but simply meet people where they are, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries is seeking to teach the church to meet people where they are.
Why are you only promoting single moms ministry versus single dads ministries or single parents ministries? We recognize that both single moms and dads exist, either as co-parents or sole custodians. We have great compassion for those dads that are single parents, too. However, statistics continue to support more than more than 80% of single parents in our country are women, which represent the greatest need. Therefore, our focus is primarily on single mothers. Additionally, if a church sees a number of single dads who need support, we are supportive of opening a separate group for dads. The reality is that men fellowship differently, which is why mens’ ministry looks different. What we want to avoid is having a co-ed environment where single mothers move into a new relationship too soon or avoid the ministry altogether because they are concerned about being with the opposite sex during a difficult time in their lives. There is no right or wrong in this area. We honor the church’s decision to do single moms’ ministry, single dads’ ministry, or single parents’ ministry. We are sharing what we’ve found to be best practices.
Single moms’ ministries just create division and further separate single moms, doesn’t it? No. Single Moms Ministries do not divide the church any more than Ladies Nights or Womens’ Ministries or Youth Ministries or Widows Ministries separate! We want single moms to be part of various groups at the church — singles, women’s ministry, volunteer opportunities, etc. But whether a single mom has been parenting alone for a few months or for years, the journey is different than dual parenting, and the journey can be lonely. Single moms support groups allow for deep fellowship, the sharing of ideas, and encouragement for a journey that is unique. These ministries simply allow another opportunity for fellowship with people who are in similar seasons of life.
One of the things I have heard you promote is that single moms’ groups support church growth. That doesn’t seem like a very good reason to launch one! Our sole mission as the body of Christ is to populate Heaven and plunder Hell! Our goal is to see souls transformed by the blood of Jesus. There are more than 9 million single mothers that are unchurched in the United States, and many, many are unsaved. Yes, it grows the church, because these women now have a place where they feel they belong. This may very well be the way that the unreached, unchurched single mom in your community comes to Christ. More opportunities equals a greater chance to share the plan of salvation. If a church leader needs to hear that it will grow the church in order for him to get on board, then so be it. It is a bold and grand idea that we, the church, actually be excited about growing the church.
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