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Single-Parent Family Ministry Ideas

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr, studioD

Ministering to others is an effective way to put feet to your faith. If you’re looking for a way to reach out to single-parent families, or if you’re a single parent looking for ministry ideas, you have some interesting and effective options. Whether you have just a few hours a month to give or are looking for a periodic ministry, you can make a difference in someone’s life.

One-time Single Parent Options

Single parent families are more likely to live at or near the poverty level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Money can be tight, so your help to buy school clothes at the beginning of the school year or Christmas gifts for a single-parent family will help make a child’s day brighter. School counselors, churches and charities such as The Salvation Army or Prison Fellowship will have lists of families you can help. You could buy school supplies for a child living in a single-parent family. If you want to remain anonymous, buy a box of groceries and set it in front of the door just before you ring the doorbell and run.

Regular Ministry Options

If you’re willing to get involved with a single-parent family regularly, you can offer to babysit one or two days a month so the single parent can run errands, take time for a nap or take care of other needs. You could join an organization that mentors kids and volunteer to work with a child from a single-parent family. If the family doesn’t own a car, you could offer to drive the parent to the grocery store or to other necessary destinations.

Inexpensive One-time Options

Some single-parent ministry options that don't require a significant amount of time or money include volunteering at a homeless shelter on a holiday, or donating your child’s outgrown clothing and toys or items you no longer wear. Offer to babysit for another single parent who needs a respite from child care or help with transportation needs if you have a car and the other parent doesn’t.

Single Parents Volunteering

A church or social organization could have ministry options that allow you to interact regularly with others in need. You could volunteer to teach Sunday school or work with the children’s ministry at your church. If your child’s school has volunteer options, help a child learn to read or assist with homework in an after-school program where your child also spends time. If your budget allows, donate groceries to a food pantry or help distribute food when the pantry is open.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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