One thing that all of the major religions have in common is a call to care for widows and orphans. I often wonder, though, if those texts were rewritten today, whether they would specifically include "single parents." I like to think they would, and I believe churches and faith-based organizations are called be a place of support and encouragement for single moms and dads. If your church is looking for creative ways to host single parent ministries, consider these options:
DivorceCare is ministry of Church Initiative
, a faith-based organization based in Wake Forest, North Carolina. DivorceCare provides training for church leaders and lay leaders, along with materials, to help you lead an effective, ongoing care group for divorcing and divorced individuals in your community.
DivorceCare 4 Kids is a ministry for children going through the effects of divorce. What's unique about it is that in addition to meeting the needs of hurting children, DivorceCare 4 Kids helps to integrate single parents into the larger church family.
3. Host a Small Group Bible Study for Single Parents
Invite single moms and dads to a Bible study written to specifically address their unique needs. Visit your local Christian bookstore for suggestions, or take advantage of some online Bible studies for single parents offered by Christianity Today
. Leaders purchase one master copy for $5.95 and have permission to photocopy up to 1,000 copies for participants.
4. Host a Single Parents' Day Out
Offer free babysitting one day a week, or even one day a month, so that single moms and dads can take a break, run errands, or get together with a supportive friend. Many churches that offer this service incorporate adult volunteers with baby sitters from the church youth group.
5. Explore Additional Single Parent Ministry Options
There are many compassionate and effective ways to meet the needs of single parent families in your area. Consider the following programs as you explore additional single parent ministries: