In this episode, Paula Dannielle speaks from her experience as a single parent and leading a ministry with the single-parent in mind. There are specific changes you could make to your ministry to more intentionally serve single-parent families and Paula shares what has impacted her church community.

Paula Dannielle

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What are some ways the church can serve single parents better?

  • Remember that Single parent homes have to do the same thing that two-parent homes do with 50% of the time
  • Their time is of the essence; make it worth their time; be sure that “in-person meetings” are something that must in person
  • Don’t overlap events or occasions that involve multiple phases for kids/students
  • Be aware of the calendaring and timeline of communication of special events, particularly for budgeting purposes
What can churches do intentionally for single parents?
  • ALL students at her campus live in single-parent homes
  • Programming has an on-ramp because most students come only every other week
  • Group leaders communicate through text message to kids and parents to keep everyone in the loop
  • Frequency is declining, so recaps during programming and group time is key so no one is lost
  • Using apps to stay in contact (Lead Small App for communication with parents)
  • Create and carve out positions for single parents where they don’t have to commit to serving every week
  • Love them well; maybe you don’t know which ones you have; build relationships
What unique things can churches do to partner with parents?
  • Consider when your services are for students (because if they have multiple phases in their home, it could take up their entire Sunday)
  • For student groups, make them flexible throughout the week to provide options for single parents’ kids
  • One-on-ones with parents: ask if their child will be attending and determine where to meet with them (not just Starbucks, maybe consider Chick-fil-A or even their sporting event)
  • Gearing social media to connect with single parents
  • Connect with adult ministries leadership to arrange for children to attend ministry events (or childcare)
How do you stay in communication with parents that do not attend your church?
  • If there are multiple children in the family, assign one parent email to each child (making sure both parents get represented and is communicated to)

Action Items

  1. Evaluate your calendar with a single-parent lens
  2. What's your % of single parents in your church?
  3. Find a pastor or counselor outside your church

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