By Jennifer Maggio
Special to Inside The Pew
Editor’s note: The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Inside The Pew staff.
BATON ROUGE, La. — With an estimated 15 million single mothers in the United States and numbers increasing daily, it is imperative that the local church have a thriving single mothers program. It is estimated that 67 percent of single mothers do not actively attend church. As the church – the body of Christ – this should pain us. It should keep us up at night.
So, why should we formalize a single moms’ ministry within the walls of our church?
- The Bible tells us so. We have been commissioned with certain duties by the Lord. Psalms 146:9 informs us “He cares for the widows and orphans.” Luke 14:13 challenges us to “invite the poor.” 1 Timothy 5:3 advises us to “take care of the widow.” The widow, many times, is the single mom. The orphans are left by a single mom. The poor are often single moms.
- Single parents are one of the fastest-growing sects of our population. What better way for our local churches to grow than to connect with the 9 million unchurched single mothers in the country? This represents more than 20 million women and children and they are in our neighborhoods, grocery stores, and schools.
- Single moms need more than just a Christmas toy drive once per year for her children. They appreciate that sort of thing, but she desires sustained connection with the house of God. She longs to learn more about financial stewardship and parenting effectively. She needs long-term fellowship with other single mothers in similar seasons of life.
- A single moms’ ministry is NOT the same thing as a singles ministry. Singles ministries are co-ed environments. Many single mothers are recently divorced or vulnerable and need a private support group for women only. This allows the freedom to express concerns and hardships sans the added pressure of the opposite sex.
- And perhaps the most important point – single moms ministries DO NOT condone unwed pregnancy or divorce no more than addictions’ ministry condones drug use. We know God’s word calls us to live in sexual purity and that marriage was intended to last forever. However, we must address the needs of those within our community who are parenting alone.
Jennifer Maggio is critically acclaimed author and speaker who is also founder The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. TLSM was founded from Maggio’s own journey and resolve to not be just another statistic. Maggio has appeared on more than 100 radio and television shows and writes articles for dozens of magazines. Her products are endorsed by LifeWay Christian Stores, Focus on the Family, The 700 Club, and many more. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.