Are you a single parent? If so, you may have struggled to find positive role models for your kids, those that can help bridge the gap left by the absent parent. With society and the media offering little to no help in this area, what’s a single mom or dad to do to help provide the godly influence, affirmation, and investment that’s lacking with one parent out of the picture? The following are resources that the Good News hopes will help provide the missing link in your child’s life.
Your church is a great place to start your search. Most churches have children’s and youth ministries as a part of their offerings. Particularly when it comes to middle and high school aged kids, many churches have developed exciting and engaging ministries that are seeking to help students to grow strong spiritually. If you attend a church where the ministries for kids leave something to be desired, consider seeking out a church with a strong youth ministry and attend a mid-week Bible study there with your child. With no shortage of great churches in the tri-county area, there are plenty of ministries ready and waiting to provide the godly guidance and encouragement that your child so desperately needs.
First Priority of South Florida
If your child attends public school, then he or she faces an additional set of challenges every Monday through Friday. When it comes to peer-pressure and criticism from fellow students who don’t share the same beliefs, public school can be brutal for the Christian student. First Priority of South Florida is a ministry that sponsors Bible-based, student-led “Campus Clubs” on high and middle school campuses throughout South Florida. These clubs are a forum for kids to connect with other Christian students at their school who can provide friendship, encouragement, and accountability. With a designated adult leader as a part of each club, First Priority provides a spiritual lifeline to those in public school and can make a real impact in the life of a student.
Big Brothers/Big Sisters
A ministry of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, Big Brothers/Big Sisters for Jesus reaches out to younger kids (kindergarten through fifth grade) from broken homes. One Saturday each month, kids have an opportunity to link up with caring and responsible adult men (for boys) and women (for girls) for a time of fun, investment, and mentoring. As an added benefit, while the kids are being ministered to, the church provides a Bible study time for the parents, with studies focused on the unique challenges of single parenting. If you are in search of quality one-on-one relationships for your younger kids, as well as fellowship and encouragement for yourself, Big Brothers/Big Sisters for Jesus is definitely worth checking out.
Whether your child is a star athlete or just enjoys the challenge and physical activity of sports, many churches have Christian leagues and camps that are excellent venues for both improving skill and impacting character. Upward Sports is the largest Christian sports league in the nation, and has plenty of local offerings for kids in the South Florida area. Even in the world of “secular” sports, there are plenty of godly coaches and fellow team parents that are willing to mentor and invest in kids in need. If your child is resistant to activities that are overtly spiritual, sports within a healthy spiritual environment can provide a fantastic inroad to see your child impacted with the gospel.
Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts
www.sfcbsa.org / www.gssef.org
Taking a comprehensive approach to teaching and developing life skills, respect for self and others, academic excellence, and physical fitness, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are both wonderful organizations to get your child plugged into. Select one of the many available Scout troops that are affiliated with a Bible-believing church, and the added spiritual component will pave the way for real growth in every area of your son or daughter’s life. If you’re constantly trying to pry your child from TV or video games to get some exercise and fresh air, the Scouts teach and encourage a love for and appreciation of the outdoors that is becoming a lost art in today’s age of technology.
Remember, the Bible tells us in Psalm 68:5 that God is “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” The Good News encourages you to pray, do your homework, get your child connected, and be blessed as you witness them experience God’s love through others!