Buy the CD's! I recently received an email from a fellow that wanted to start a ministry for single parents. He asked for any tips or advice on how to go about starting such a ministry. His thoughtful email got me to thinking about the various things I had seen churches do for single parents and it made me realize how often the needs of this group are neglected.
Single parents have the same needs as any singles for fellowship, community, and acceptance, but they have the added strain of child care and are often financially strapped.
I have witnessed several different ministries for single parents that provided a helpful ministry and service. One such ministry at Belmont Church on Music Row, involved several of the men of the church who volunteered one Saturday a month to meet at the church to provide the kind of car help dads usually provide. They checked the tires, looked under the hood, checked the oil and even changed the oil if that was needed. This may sound simple enough, but to most single moms (and I should add, single women), "under the hood" is a term that conjures up images of a dark, mysterious place full of the kind of advanced technology that makes The Matrix look like a sand box. To have a warrior male go into that dark place and tackle the mechanical monsters within is a wonderful thing. I would say that single moms should be encouraged to bring their young sons to witness these male rites of passage.
Another ministry to single parents that was greeted with enthusiasm was the Friday night Mom's/Dad's night out. Again, volunteers met at the church to provide child care either for free or a very reasonable sum so that single parents could actually have a social life. This could be done weekly or even monthly, but it allows the single mom or dad the luxury of one night they can count on to go out, relax, spend time with friends, perhaps even date without those precious little rug rats biting ankles and vying for attention.
Providing an occasional low-cost outing which provides an atmosphere adults and children can enjoy together where single parents and other singles can fellowship and children can play is needed. A play date at the park where games and food entice any singles to participate, whether parents or not, and games and food are also provided to keep the children entertained would allow for fellowship and child care at the same time.
If any readers have other good ideas or suggestions for ministries for single parents or other articles for singles, I will be happy to post them. E-mail them to: