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FACING YOUR FEARS – 31 STORIES FROM M.O.M.
By Guest: Jennifer Maggio
She walks in the church and cautiously looks around with her four-year-old daughter in tow. She hesitantly makes her way to the back of the church and sits quietly, thumbing through her Bible, avoiding eye contact at all costs. She has contemplated this day for months. She wonders if she should be here. Does she really belong? A warm, friendly woman sits beside her and begins to make conversation with the four-year-old. The young mom is certain the woman notices her empty ring finger and hangs her head in shame.
This story repeats itself several times over in churches across our country every Sunday. The single mom is one of the fastest-growing sects of our population, so why does it seem that the body of Christ has ignored them for so long? There are approximately 15 million single moms in the country and approximately 67% of them do not actively attend church. Yet, less than 1% of all Christian churches have any specific ministry for single mothers. And whether they are divorced, never married, or widowed, they all have a story and none of them deserve to walk alone.
Of course, churches offer them food when they are hungry. Some may occasionally perform a home repair or provide toys at Christmas. And those things are great, but why do most churches stop there? Dare we open a Sunday school class exclusively for single moms? Single mothers need more than food, clothes, and toys. They need long-term discipleship, friendship, and mentorship.
As a young adult, Jennifer Maggio had already endured a lifetime of pain. She had suffered through the death of her parents, homelessness, severe sexual and physical abuse, and multiple teen pregnancies, just to name a few. Although raised in church, her life’s course led her to fall away for many years, hanging her head in shame, always feeling she wasn’t good enough to return. Maggio eventually did make that difficult transition back into church. Through time, she became a successful executive in Corporate America who became a happily married mother of three…..but she never forgot those dark moments, alone in her apartment, wondering if anyone cared.
She decided to do something about it. She started by launching a small Bible study in her local church, which later became one of the nation’s largest single moms ministries. Through the success of the local ministry, she launched The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. TLSM is one of the nation’s fastest-growing nonprofits dedicated to equipping the church on how to best meet the needs of single parents in their community and church – from one-time outreaches to long-term discipleship. The Life of a Single Mom provides resources and training to churches on how to launch single moms programs, as well as host single mom events. To date, TLSM has helped more than 456 churches in 19 countries start an effective single moms program.
In addition to founding The Life of a Single Mom, Maggio is also an award-winning author of three books: her autobiography, Overwhelmed: The Life of a Single Mom, The Church and the Single Mom, and her latest release – Kids and the Single Mom: A Real-World Guide to Effective Parenting. She is founder of Overwhelmed: The Single Moms Magazine and has been featured in countless media venues, including The 700 Club, Daystar Television, Focus on the Family, Moody Radio, Power Women, and many others. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.