From oil changes to childcare to reroofing homes, Assemblies of God
congregations are responding to the Bibles command to care for
women join together in prayer at Christian Outreach Center (Assemblies
of God) in West Columbia, S.C.
In one of a growing number of practical help examples, David Martin,
pastor of New Life Center Assembly of God in Hays, Kan., recently asked
his congregation to explore ways to minister to single moms. Church
members responded by offering free oil changes. In July, three dozen
women received a complimentary meal while men from the church changed
oil in their vehicles.
Two weeks later, many of those moms returned to the church with their
children for a video presentation of BibleMan and VeggieTales. Martin
says the opportunity to minister has inspired the congregation. "Were
now thinking beyond ourselves and reaching out to the community," he
In West Columbia, S.C., Christian Outreach Center (A/G) is caring for
widows and single moms through a variety of ministries such as an adopt-a-single-family
program. At Thanksgiving, COC hosts a dinner for single parents. During
the year special classes for single-parent families and counseling sessions
are offered. Single-parent families also are connected to mentors from
the church who call each week to encourage and pray for them. "Scripture
says to take care of widows," says Carolyn Heuer, singles pastor at
the church. "We see single moms in the same category."
Some churches have found that offering single moms an alternative to
their busy schedules can make for effective ministry. In Marysville,
Wash., single mothers receive free back-to-school supplies, financial
advice, car maintenance and a makeover spa experience. "After the spa
sessions, women not only feel good on the outside, they feel loved on
the inside," says Cindy Johnson, who coordinates the ministry with Wanda
Green, womens ministries director at the church.
Some churches, such as First Assembly of God in Grant City, Mo., provide
free home repairs. Members from the church reroofed a widows house
and an elderly single ladys house in the town of 900. "The reroofing
was a visible statement to the community," says Pastor Leonard Green.
At James River Assembly of God in Ozark, Mo., widows and single mothers
receive free oil changes and peace of mind thanks to the churchs
Mechanics in Action ministry. Four times a year, ministry team members
change oil and diagnose engine repair needs.
"I have someone I can trust for car maintenance, and a credible referral
for other repairs," says Sue Kennedy, a single mom, who along with her
mother, Charlene Wolfe, a widow, has benefited from the ministry.
"I appreciate being able to get my car serviced," Wolfe says. "A lot
of single moms and widows need this. Its nice to know we can get
mechanical advice without being taken advantage of."