Exposing the heart of God in reference to single mothers has become at the very core of who we are and what we do here at The Life of a Single Mom Ministries – the fuel that wakes us in the morning. It has become an exciting journey that the Lord has for us, and we truly cannot wait to see the next step, where He leads next, who He sets free, and how He moves in the lives of single parents globally. With several hundred churches in our support group network and more than 72,000 single mothers connecting annually to the work we do, it is always astounding when we hear some of the top objections that church leaders give on why their church doesn’t need a single moms’ ministry.
As we travel the country mobilizing churches on how to best meet the needs of single parents, inevitably we will run across a few pastors, leaders, volunteers, or church members who believe that their church does not need a single moms’ program. (Some even try to passionately convince us – to no avail). We once would become frustrated and even angry with such statements of why single moms’ ministries shouldn’t exist in churches, but now, we welcome them as an opportunity to provide additional information and watch the Holy Spirit move on hearts – as e so often does.
Here are some of the top objections we receive (and our um……. kind, compassionate, sometimes humorous, responses):
Single moms’ ministries support unplanned pregnancy and divorce. Really? Does drug rehabilitation support drug and alcohol use? Does addictions’ ministry support pornography? Do divorce recovery programs support divorce? No, they meet people where they are. Isn’t that what Jesus did? He focused on the ministry opportunity to change lives. Additionally, single moms arrive at their journey in many different ways, including some who had no choice in the matter.
There are no single moms in my church. Well, that is problem number one. With 15 million single parents in our country (and most of them are unchurched at an estimated two out of three), there are definitely single parents in your community. The fact that they aren’t already in your church leaves you with some wood to chop. This is a modern-day mission field like no other.
We already offer a divorce recovery class. Wonderful. We support divorce recovery programs. But what do the single mothers do AFTER they complete the class? Where do they go? What support group do they then attend? Do you assume they will simply acclimate into the women’s ministry? Statistics show us that they do not. A single moms’ ministry increases the chance of single mothers connecting to your church by a whopping 58%. Also….what about all the single mothers out there who were never married? They don’t attend divorce recovery classes.
We have a Singles’ Ministry. Isn’t that the same as a Single Moms’ Ministry? No. Singles’ Ministries (again, another program for which we support, as we know they add value to the church) in most churches is a co-ed program that caters to men and women who are in their 40s-50s. Consider the teen, 20-something, and 30-something single moms. They generally do not feel comfortable in the college and young professionals group, and they are too young for the singles’ ministry.
Additionally, we highly recommend a Single Moms’ Ministry be gender-exclusive to women only. Single mothers who have recently divorced or had an unplanned pregnancy suffer emotional brokenness and do not need the added pressure of a co-ed environment. They need to have a time with other mothers to simply share their journey and receive encouragement. (And before you single dads get upset with us, we love the single dads’ Bible studies and support groups, too! We just want you to have fellowship separately). Single Moms’ can always be part of the Singles’ Ministry at your 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