SIDEBAR: Meet the Needs of the Divorced
Deliver assistance to individuals in areas where there is the greatest need. Note: These services apply to many other situations within the church as well (e.g. single parents, grieving families, older adults, or those affected by disability/illness). Those who are experiencing divorce, however, do not necessarily fit into any of these categories and thus churches often overlook or ignore their needs. Address their needs in practical ways — financially and tangibly. Consider providing the following services as individuals make the transition to being single, and are without the skills, time, and/or resources their spouses once provided. While providing the service, teach the recipients how to become self-sufficient, where feasible.
- Minor household repairs/maintenance
- Painting — interior and exterior
- Lawn care/mowing/trimming
- Leaf cleanup and removal
- Snow shoveling and/or plowing
- Meal preparation for the most difficult days
- Automobile repair/tune-up
- Oil changes/fluid checks (Some churches make this part of an outreach ministry on a Saturday, combining it with programs or activities for children.)
- Moving assistance
- Child care to provide time for parents’ appointments, errands, etc.
- School supplies (throughout the year, rather than just the beginning)
- Homework/tutoring help
- Tax return preparation
- Budgeting/money management/financial advice
- Job search/application and resume preparation
- Basic job skills training for those who must reenter the workforce
- Prepare and offer a referral list of resources. This could include books, websites, and the names and numbers of local Christian professionals (legal, financial, counseling, etc.).
- Provide a resource library of books and workbooks for adults, teens, and children. Include devotionals and journals that specifically address divorce.