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. — As her body crumbles to the floor, she can hardly believe what she is hearing. Her husband wants a divorce. No, not me. Not us. I’ve done everything right. I’ve tried. I really have.A million thoughts rush through her mind as

Jennifer Maggio

the reality that her world will no longer be the same comes crashing against her. She lies there, crying and helpless, wondering how she will survive financially, what her friends will thing, and how her children will survive without their father in their daily lives.

This is reality for more than 15 million women who find themselves parenting alone today in the United States. It is estimated that 1,000 teenagers become pregnant every day, while one in every two marriages will fail. Whether it be a 15-year-old pregnant teen, a 35-year-old divorcee, or a grandmother parenting her grandchildren alone, these women are desperate for connection. The statistics that surround the single parent home are staggering:

  • 78 percent of the U.S. current prison population was raised in a single parent home.
  • 71 percent of all high school dropouts came from single parent homes.
  • 1 in 3 single mothers live in poverty.
  • Children in single parent homes are five times more likely to commit suicide.
  • They are 32 times more likely to run away.
  • They are 10 more likely to use drugs or alcohol.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. By all accounts, today’s society is currently in the midst of a single parent crisis that affects our economy, abuse rates, crime, education, and our future generations. We know that we are under biblical mandate to serve the least of these, the forgotten, the broken, the marginalized. The questions is, “What are you, the church, doing about it?” For far too long, the church has ran from the single parent home. Recent studies suggest that 67 percent of single mothers in the United States do not actively attend church (“The Church and the Single Mom,” Carepoint). It is one of the fastest-growing sects of the population, and there are approximately 9 million unchurched single mothers in our communities across this nation.

The Life of a Single Mom Ministries was founded as a solution to this very concern. Less than 1 percent of the 300,000 evangelical Christian churches in the United States do nothing for single mothers, and the few that do struggle with how to run effective programs that go beyond a one-time-a-year Christmas or Thanksgiving event. TLSM is on a mission to change all that.  TLSM provides resource to equip pastors, leaders, and laypeople on how to launch effective single parent programs within their church. TLSM has helped more than 400 churches in the United States and served leadership in 19 countries. But the work is not done. Praise God for the cutting-edge churches across the country who has embraced this endeavor! Has yours?

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.

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.

Jennifer Maggio

So, why should we formalize a single moms’ ministry within the walls of our church?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.