- 2016May 18
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance. Col. 3:23-24
Have you ever been somewhere and you weren’t sure you were supposed to be there? Maybe you were new to a church and you couldn’t find your Bible study group. Or maybe your children are new to the school and you are trying to find their classrooms. Whatever the case, there is certain awkwardness when you stumble into a new environment, unsure and nervous.
Lack of planning and preparation in ministry can be similar. You don’t know where you are, what you are doing, or if you are really supposed to be there.
Ministry is serious. It’s God’s work. It’s about bringing others into relationship with our Savior. God works through people. He works through us – you and me. We are examples of his grace. We show others God’s love through how we treat them. Ministry is about Heaven or Hell. It’s not to be taken lightly. And make no mistake. Whether you work full-time at a church or simply volunteer on the weekends, you are in ministry. We all are.
Taking time to plan and prepare for your ministry assignment is important. If you are leading a Bible study, pray, seek, plan, pray, read, re-read, make notes, and practice your lesson. Those who have come to be part of your program, class, Bible study, or support group deserve as much. If you are serving on the greeter’s team at Sunday services, then arrive early, spend time in prayer, and make preparations to do it with excellence. Are you babysitting children in the nursery? Prepare a great craft or activity.
Are you launching a new program in your church? Take the time to plan the logistics. Take the time to think through the what-ifs in hopes of being better-prepared to handle challenges that will surely come. Take the time to do some online research. Be sure to attend training classes, if possible.
Some of the worst support groups or connect groups or classes that I’ve been part of were not because the leader wasn’t gifted to share or teach, not because they weren’t fully capable, but because they hadn’t taken the time to prepare. Allow God to minister His plan in your ministry. Seek Him so that His face is the face that your attendees see. There is no power like the power of God to change lives forevermore.
Jennifer Maggio is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is an award-winning author of several books and has appeared in countless media venues. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.
- 2016May 04
Holidays of any kind can be tough for a mother who is parenting alone, especially if you are new to your role as a single mom. But Mother’s Day is perhaps one of the most difficult for single mothers. It can serve as a reminder of all the things that once were, but are no longer. It can hint at all of a single mom’s insecurities and provoke such thoughts, as I’m not the mother I want to be. I failed my children. I shouldn’t have to be alone today or others.
Single moms, I want to encourage you that today is a day a celebration. It is a day that is all about celebrating the gift that your children are in your life. Don’t put a ton of pressure on yourself (or others) to make today perfect. When we expect for any holiday to be perfect, it isn’t. We become disappointed that we don’t fit into the storybook lives that others seem to have.
Here’s a thought:
None of us fit into the perfect storybook life! It’s all imagined. That’s why it’s a storybook.
Here are some quick tips on how to survive and enjoy Mother’s Day.
- Go to church today. It’s so important that you have an opportunity to join in collective worship and praise the Lord. Give him thanks for those babies of yours. Thank him for all the blessings he’s given you. Praise him for being with you during the darkest of times. Praise sure will give you new perspective.
- Make it a point to enjoy your children. What you do is not near as important as why you do it. Whether you have small children who simply want to sit in your lap and cuddle or teenagers who would rather give you a store-bought card with their name scribbled in it, make plans today to enjoy your children.
- Don’t put a measuring stick on what today should look like. Every mom’s story is different. Her journey to and through parenthood is different. Your day may look different from another mom’s day, but it doesn’t make your day any less or more special. Comparison will be nothing but a joy thief for you today (or any day)!
- Find another single mom to serve. There’s much to be said for serving others, but on a holiday, it is even more special. Imagine a single mom sitting home today, destroyed because she doesn’t have her children this weekend, or hurting because this is her first Mother’s Day alone. How can you help? Sometimes, the most simple gestures are the life-changing ones. Invite her over for lunch. Take her to church with you. Do an art project with she and her children. Create a picnic in the park. There are hundreds of small, inexpensive, and creative ways that you can help bless her day.
Your day can be as special as you want it to be, but your choice today must be clear. You must draw the proverbial line in the sand and say, “Today is the day that the Lord has given me. I will choose to rejoice today and be glad in it.” Your Mother’s Day may not look like you ever pictured it to look, but God is with you and has blessed you. You are highly favored, chosen, complete and whole. You are not less than, you are more than.
Jennifer Maggio is a mother of three, wife of Jeff, author, speaker, and CEO of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She has a passion to see God's people living in complete freedom and celebrating the joy of every season. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.
- 2016Apr 27
Father God, we thank you for each and every woman you have blessed with the privilege of motherhood. We thank you that each single mother is a Godly steward of each of their children, and that they raise them in the ways of the Lord. Father, we pray and ask that You continue to give them grace to walk out being a single parent with kindness and generosity. We pray that each single mother has a relationship with You, and worships You in spirit and truth.
Help each of your precious daughters to remember that although they are parenting alone, You have not left them nor forsaken them. We thank You that You see each of them and love them. Lord, if they are weary, we pray and ask that You send them a Godly sister in Christ to hold up their arms in the battle, just as Aaron did for Moses. Lord, thank you that You care about every big or small thing that concerns them. Place a hedge of protection around each single mother and her children, Father. We thank you that You alone are their Provider. Where there is lack, Father, we pray that be it Your will You bring abundance. We pray and ask these things in your name, Amen.
The Life of a Single Mom (TLSM) is a 501c3 nonprofit that exists to serve single parents and those who work with single parents. We are fully accredited through a variety of organizations that include high levels of financial accountability and awards for our premiere financial stewardship, including GuideStar, Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability, Great Nonprofits, Chamber of Commerce, LANO, and others.
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.