Think of them as you would an “unreached people group,” except they live right in your own community, not in some faraway country.
Today, 35% of all children live in single-parent homes. A high percentage of them are not involved in church and don’t know Jesus. Bottom line, their parents often don’t feel welcome in a church environment.
This year as, you look toward the next twelve months, I want to challenge you to think strategically about how to reach the child living in single parent families – the child of divorce, separation, co-habitation, death and the never married. At 35% of the total population of children (maybe even more in your area), this group is too large to overlook. These children need your ministry!
I know how much you have on your plate. Children’s ministry is consuming. That’s why I want to help you define four achievable steps you can take to reach single-parent families in 2014:
- Determine how many children in your area are living in a single parent home. You can do this by going to www.aecf.org and checking into the Kids Count Data information for your state.
- Decide on your goals and write them down. If you don’t write them down, the goal will float into infinity and beyond and never get accomplished.
- Make your goals specific.
- Set time lines for accomplishing each goal.
- This year I will identify 12 single parent families in our community that do not attend our church.
- This year I will specifically invite one family a month in our community to a church event. (At the end of the year you will have touched 12 different un- churched families.)
- This year I’m going to have touch points with 52 children from single parent families
- I will accomplish the 52 touch points by sending out one card in the mail each week to a kid in my ministry who lives in a single parent home.
Your goals don’t have to be complicated. They can be simple and easy to accomplish. Sending out one card a week is not time consuming. You don’t necessarily have to do this yourself as you can ask a volunteer to be responsible. Or you could ask a different volunteer each week. At the end of a year you will have involved 52 people in reaching out to 52 children in your ministry from single parent homes. That is a pretty awesome accomplishment.
Imagine increasing your attendance by 35%. Imagine helping 35% of the kids in your community come to know Christ? Imagine changing the direction of a child’s life by bringing them into the loving arms of a church family? Kids of divorce might very well change the direction of your children’s ministry.
Pray for the Lord’s direction as you look forward to what God is going to do in your church in 2014.
One more suggestion: Determine in 2014 to learn more about DC4K. DC4K is a Christ-centered Biblically based program to help child of divorce heal from the devastation of the death of their once intact family. On the DC4K website we have designed a place just for church staff. Make it one of your goals to check out DC4K. If your church has DC4K, make a goal to learn more about what DC4K is about and how it is affecting the children in your community who attend your church’s DC4K group.