Is your Women’s Ministry looking for a way to reach single moms in your community? Here’s what one church is doing to reach out.
From September through May, a Michigan church hosts a monthly special event for single moms. They work hard to make every aspect of the evening special, partly because most of these single moms don’t have many opportunities to be pampered. The underlying message is most important: A loving God loves them extravagantly.
A Gourmet Meal
First, they enjoy dinner at elegantly set tables. The meal is prepared and served by a team of volunteers. Women from the church also act as welcoming hostesses. One is seated at each table, to provide conversation starters, and to ensure each woman feels connected, comfortable, and valued.
Support and Encouragement
After dinner, options are presented for the second hour of the evening. For example, moms might choose to take part in a parenting class, accompany someone from the church to a quiet place for prayer, or participate in a topic-based small group discussion.
Discussions have included a representative from the local community college discussing how single moms could find financial aid for additional schooling to a special education advocate who provided suggestions for ways moms could address issues their children might be experiencing in the school system. Women from the church have led discussions on topics such as anger toward oneself and others, dating God’s way, and building positive experiences during the holidays.
After women participate in various options, the Pink Bag Boutique opens! The Boutique began when moms were asked to make a list of items that would be especially helpful for them. The church was given the list and encouraged to buy something for single moms each time they shop for their own families. The response has been generous and consistent, with people donating items including food, toiletries, and books. Now at these monthly events, single moms are given a shopping bag and encouraged to fill it.
As the single moms are enjoying dinner and then fellowship, their children are fed, cared for, and entertained. A team of volunteers oversees each room, ensuring that the food and after-dinner activities are age-appropriate and appealing.
By developing loving, nurturing relationships in a warm, welcoming environment, this church hopes the love of God will be revealed to these single moms. Some are Christians; others aren’t; some are rediscovering their faith. The goal is to reach out to them, wherever they are in their faith journey, with the love of Jesus and to create an environment that encourages women to at least ask questions about God. And over time, as they feel accepted and loved, they begin to reveal their hearts in the one-to-one relationships that develop in this atmosphere.
Candace McMahan and Jan Kershner are friends who have been in the same book club forever. At least it feels like forever. But in a good way!