What can you do? How can you help? How do we minister to the single parent in a positive light and help them see the up and coming year as a transition year; a year where things are going to get better and they can draw closer to God, their children and others?
Describing a “transition year” to a single parent might go something like this:
It is the year where you put your business of parenting alone in the hands of the Lord.
Help them set goals for this year. Engage them to start out small with only a few goals. Tell them to start out strong with important goals that will change the direction of their single parent family.
Think about something as simple as providing a devotion each week for the single parent. Send it home with them. You can find devotions written specifically for single parents at http://www.hlp4.com/devotions.html. I add a new devotion every month and have been doing this for three years.
Ideas for Ministering to Single Parents
- Single parent family night once a month at a restaurant
- Develop a yearly plan where you bring in a single parenting expert to help single parents know how to successfully parent alone. You might schedule only 2 seminars this year but increase it the next year.
- Provide resources and tools to help single parents discipline troubled youth.
- Host a fun night once a quarter just for the single parent. Provide a nursery, child care and youth activities. Remember they have no one at home to take care of the children.
- Provide mentors or advocates that can help and listen to single parents when problems arise.
- Train advocates that go with single parents to school conferences. Sometimes single parents just need someone to listen and explain what was said afterwards.
- Pair of two-parent family or grandparent type of people who can attend school functions with the single parents.
Lastly host a meeting with the single parents in your church and ask them how you can help and partner with them in their single parent journey.
Linda Ranson Jacobs is one of the forefront leaders in the area of children and divorce. She developed and created the DivorceCare for Kids programs. DC4K is an international program for churches to use to help children of divorced parents find healing within the arms of a loving church family. As a speaker, author, trainer, program developer and child care center owner, Linda has assisted countless families by modeling and acting on the healing love she has found in Jesus Christ. Linda offers support, encouragement and suggestions to help those working with the child of divorce. She serves as DC4K Ambassador (http://www.dc4k.org) and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find additional articles from Linda on her blog at http://blog.dc4k.org/.
Free articles and devotions for single parent families in your church can be found at Linda’s website Healthy Loving Partnerships for Our Kids (http://www.hlp4.com).