Sunday, December 11, 2011

Single Parent Ministry

Single parents have unique needs that sometimes aren't met through traditional children or student ministries.

I'm blessed to work with some great leaders who serve single parent families. A question we constantly ask is, "what can single parent ministry accomplish that other ministry doesn't".

Jennifer does great job leading single parent ministry at IBC. Here's an email I received from her describing a special event this ministry provides every Christmas Season.

Good morning!

Yesterday Single Parent Ministry hosted 140 children for our annual Christmas Mall. If you aren’t sure what that even is, I will tell you.
J Each year we set up a “mall” in the Commons for children of single parent families to choose gifts to give their primary care givers. It might be mom and dad, mom and grandma or any other combination you can come up with. We start them off with a hot breakfast prepared by Kelly Haney, Dean Andree and team. From there, they are put into small groups with 2 adult leaders to rotate through other stations.

They choose gifts, wrap gifts, make Christmas Cards, decorate sugar cookies, make a holiday craft and visit with Santa. We also run Christmas movies on the big screens for them to watch while in between stations. What does it take to pull off an event like this you ask? How about 65 volunteers, 30 dozen eggs, 40 lbs of bacon, 20 jars of sprinkles, 200 candy canes, 200 sugar cookies and 2 gallons of icing just to start.

We had many new faces attend this event this year, and two families that came together and wanted to rotate through the stations together. One family had been to IBC twice, heard the announcement last Sunday and thought they would try it out. The children were older then our typical crowd, but they all seemed to enjoy being together and having fun! They really loved how IBC is the hands and feet of Jesus in the community!

On another note…one of our single moms that came through On Track this fall listened to another mom’s struggle through a custody case and really wanted to do something to help with her legal fees. Her 10 year old daughter thought they should hold a garage sale, so they decided to get the word out, named their project “In His Love”, and secured a location…the IBC parking lot. They held it on Saturday, and aside from raising over $1400, they met a man from Jerusalem. He is Muslim and purchased about $400 worth of goods. During his shopping trip they were able to chat with him a bit, and one of the men there was able to witness to him.

I would say that God had his hands ALL over the single parent ministry this weekend, and He provided in many ways to many people. The joy on the faces of children enjoying the holiday season and not having any worries for at least one day makes it all worth it. The parents get a morning off to themselves to refresh, relax or prepare for the holidays. The gratitude I have for each hand that helped make this weekend happen is more than I can express.

Merry Christmas!

I hope this encourages you as you're perhaps thinking about how to better serve single parents in your setting.

Also, would love to hear how you are serving single parents in your setting. What have you do that's encouraged single parents?

1 comment:

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