Recap of Training Event: Single Sisters

Blue Wood

On Saturday, June 30, the Women’s Ministry Council held a quarterly training event related to the topic of serving our single sisters.  Our guest speaker, Willow Sanders or Protect the Heart, shared with us her experience as a single mother and single woman in the church.  Her three point approach to addressing this need in the church & has also been supplemented with additional information that may be beneficial.

SEE SOMETHING –

In order to address a concern or a problem, we must first see it for what it is… within our community and within the church. 

  • Over 50% of the US population are single.  There are more single people, than married.
  • Of these singles, 53% of them are women.
  • Only 23% of single women attend church regularly.
  • 1 in 2 babies are born outside of marriage.
  • There are 15 million single moms in the US alone.
  • 67% of single parents are not actively attending church.
  • Less than 1% of all Christian Churches have formalized single mom programs or outreach.

What Do You See?   Do you notice single women or mothers in your church?  Do you notice when your single women or mothers are not there? 

Scripturally, we have missed the mark on serving our single women and mothers.  James 1:27 is clear that the fatherless are close to the Father’s heart and should be close to ours.  The Bible never directly speaks about “single women” needing assistance but it does address widows over 80 times, fatherless over 100.  This means that the care of God’s people is important.

We do not need to be concerned with why a woman or mother is single in order to serve her.  Remember, this is about acts of service and not about what you think she deserves or what you think she can do on her own.  Do not assume that our single women and mothers have people to help and support them, or that they do not need help because they can do it for themselves.

Single mothers may have a difficult time making their needs known because they feel they are unending and do not want to be a burden.  Single women also don’t want to burden others with their needs.  In addition, there needs may be so overwhelming they don’t even know where to begin to ask for help.  If we want to understand how to bless them, we need to be connected with them in relations and have a heart willing to help.

SAY SOMETHING

As a community, and ministry leaders, we can be apart of fixing this issue.  If you are reading this, I assure you, you have single women in your church and community, you have single mothers too.  (And, there are also single men and fathers too!)  How do we start?

  • Build a relationship with your church/community/ministry leaders around this issue.  Break down the cons and focus on the benefits to the health of the entire Body by addressing it.
  • Understand that there is a difference between including them in your ministry or community events, and having a separate meeting or ministry to address their unique set of needs.
  • Gather others who have a heart for growth and guidance in this area.  
  • Always have childcare for events, free if at all possible.  Don’t forget that single parents will have great difficulty in attending weekly Bible studies and small groups without a childcare option.
  • Offer to babysit for free, and do it often.  This is a great option for teens to learn about serving.
  • Teach them by doing life with them.  Go grocery shopping and teach the single mom how to stretch her dollar, help her create a budget, meal plan strategies, etc.
  • If she is a single and pregnant & lacking support, go with her to doctors appointments and advocate for her (especially if she is young).
  • Gift her girl time.  Watch her kids so that she can connect with her friends, or become that friend who takes her out for coffee.  Go to the beach, invite her over (and her kids), go window shopping, etc.
  • Research Support Groups – Embrace Grace, Embrace Life, and Embrace Dads
  • Help her around the house.  A single, working, mother may need help tackling laundry or dishes that have piled up.  A single woman may need help with little projects around the house that she lacks the tools/know how for.  Bring your husband with you, and have him knock out some little projects while you are helping her catch up on chores.
  • Buy an oil change for her.  Host a car maintenance/home repair day through your church on a monthly basis.  Have a team of knowledgeable men (or women) that can go with her to the mechanic or help her negotiate home repairs.  Single women and mothers worry they can be taken advantage of.
  • Send her a gift or card with encouraging Scriptures attached to serve as a VISIBLE reminder that God (and you, the church) SEE her, think of her, and care about her.
  • Single moms can become overwhelmed with house care.  Clean her house, hire a service, or help her clean and organize her home.
  • Surprise her with a midday lunch while at work or at school.  Little gestures like this can be life breathing.
  • Gift her gas or grocery gift cards.  You never know when she’s going to need that extra few dollars to get through the week.
  • Cook her a meal for no reason, or if you know she’s going through a rough patch set up a meal train.
  • Start up a run, walk, jog, bike, exercise group that includes the children.
  • Buy or send flowers, for no reason.
  • Offer tutoring or homework help for her kids, or if she is still a student… help her.
  • Listen to her goals and dreams, and help her make a plan to pursue them.
  • Pray WITH her and FOR her.

SOLVE SOMETHING

John 10:10 tells us that “the thief comes ONLY to steal, kill, and destroy; I {Christ} have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

What a better trifecta of doom than to take potential restoration and steal hope, kill opportunity, and destroy new legacy.   As leaders, as churches, we can be the second part of that scripture.  We can help these women so that they may have life, and have it to the fullest.  We know that focusing our efforts will not solve every problem associated with being a single woman or mother, but it is a start.  The more we get to know these women, their needs, then the more we can come up with solutions.

Some things to keep in mind about singleness…

  • Singleness is not inherently lonely.  Funneled and guided in the right direction, it can create more time to invest in ministry or meaningful relationships.  However, that does not mean she will not experience seasons of loneliness.  This is why it is important to be connected to her relationally not just in service.
  • Singles do not need to be “fixed”.  It is not a downcast position in life.  Encourage them to put their faith in God’s timing, when they need the encouragement.  However, do not deliver false promises.

A famous quote attributed to Mr. Rogers was something that came from his mother.  She told him that in times of trouble, trial, or crisis to:  “Look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping.”

You, my precious sisters, ARE those people. 

Remember, to expand your view of WHO these single women are.  Click on the links below to view/print two hand outs from this event.  Share them with your ministry/church leaders.  Pray about who can join your Women’s Ministry Team with a heart for single women and mothers.

Serving Single Sisters

Serving Single Mothers

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