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.
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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
- 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
- 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)
- 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)
- Evaluate your calendar with a single-parent lens
- What’s your % of single parents in your church?
- Find a pastor or counselor outside your church
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