As a Family Minister, I’ve always tried to provide various ministry resources to every member of the family. In the past it has been easier to define the family: mom, dad, children, grandparents. However, today’s family can be much more difficult to define.
In my daily work schedule, I see many types of families: two-parent families, single-parent families, families headed by grandparents, families headed by aunts and uncles, and other family heads as well. Each of these families needs guidance and support and resources to help them raise the children in their care. The church must step up and take a stronger stand on helping to provide those resources. Churches need to reach out in a non-church setting in order to reach some of those families.
In the June 2008 issue of HomeLife Magazine, there is a article by Denise George, titled “All By Myself.” She outlines 7 things churches can do to minister and provide resources for single moms. Churches can provide Bible studies, enlist couples to teach classes together, bring women together, encourage women to mentor other women, organize retreats, provide practical help, and pray daily.
These are all fantastic ways churches can minister to single moms and non-traditional families; however, churches need to go outside the church walls with these methods. They need to host a class in another location, maybe in a coffee shop. They need to encourage families to mentor other families in their neighborhoods or in playgroups. It is important that families do not alienate these non-traditional families by criticizing their families; they must offer them support and resources to help them to raise their children in moral and Godly ways. Through these mentoring relationships and daily prayers, God will speak to each one of these families in His own unique way.