Why 35% of the children in your community aren’t connected with your ministry—and how you can reach them in 2018



Think of them as you would an “unreached people group”—except they live right in your own community, not in some faraway country.

Today, according to the Annie E. Casey Kids Count Data Center, 35% of all children live in single-parent homes. Many of them are not involved in church and don’t know Jesus. Bottom line: their parents often don’t feel welcome in church environments.

This year, as you look toward the next twelve months, I want to challenge you to think strategically about how to reach the children living in single-parent families—the children of divorce, separation, cohabitation, 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 define four achievable steps you can take to reach single-parent families in 2018:

  1. Determine how many children in your area are living in single-parent homes. You can do this by going to Annie E. Casey website and checking the Kids Count Data,  Children in single-parent families category for information on your state.
  2. Decide your goals, and write them down. If you don’t write them down, the goals will float into infinity and beyond and never get accomplished.
  3. Make your goals specific.
  4. Set timelines for accomplishing each goal.


  1. This year, I will identify twelve single-parent families in our community who do not attend our church.
  2. This year, I will specifically invite one single-parent family in our community to a church event each month. (At the end of the year, you will have touched twelve different unchurched families.)
  3. This year, I’m going to have touch points with fifty-two children from single-parent families.
  4. I will accomplish the fifty-two touch points by mailing one card a 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 can ask a different volunteer each week. At the end of the year, you will have involved fifty-two people in reaching out to fifty-two 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 children’s lives 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 2018.

One more suggestion: determine to learn more about DC4K in 2018. DC4K, or DivorceCare for Kids, is a Christ-centered, Biblically based program to help children of divorce heal from the devastation of the death of their once-intact family. On the DC4K website, we have designed a section just for church staff. Make checking out DC4K one of your goals. If your church offers DC4K, make it a goal to learn more about what DC4K is and how it is affecting the children in your community who attend your church’s DC4K group.


This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on Jan. 7, 2014.

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Want to learn more about how to start a DivorceCare for Kids group for the hurting children in your community?

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