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Single Parent Ministry Ideas

Children's Ministry Magazine

  • Develop a "para-parenting" ministry -- a big brother/big sister program for single parents' children.
  • Have a single parent tell his or her story during the worship service to help raise awareness.
  • Remember single parents at holidays and birthdays -- these days can be killers for single parents.
  • Ask, "How does our church communicate what a family is?" Sometimes the message communicated is very subtle -- "This is how a family should be." This alienates single parents and gives them a burden of guilt.
  • Be aware of how family finances and visitation schedules impact single parent families' involvement in your church. Help them find ways to stay connected.

-- Janice Thatcher

AN OUTSTANDING OUTREACH

Ray and Lynn Roberts started "Heart Healers" at Emmanuel Faith Community Church, in Escondido, California, to minister to single parents and their children. Heart Healers is a 12-week course for single parents that deals with issues such as fear, shame, guilt, and blame.

In addition, their church has a worship service every Wednesday night specifically for single parents and their children. The pastor delivers a topical message on issues single parent families deal with.

Extra getaways for parents and children help families arrive at forgiveness and healing. Ray plans outdoor trips-white-water rafting, hiking, snow skiing, and campouts.

"If you get parents and kids into that kind of environment, their problems fade away for a short time," Ray says.

An annual trip to Ensenada, Mexico, gives single-parent families a chance to experience another culture and visit an orphanage. The group goes down with a twofold purpose: to help out at the orphanage and to love the kids they're taking.

Ray says when children of divorce see the kids at the orphanage, they realize some kids don't have anything. It makes them appreciate what they have and helps create a bond with other people who are going through hard times as well. It helps them realize that "I'm not the only one hurting."

Excerpted from Children's Ministry Magazine. Don't miss another issue, subscribe today!

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