Why Your Church Should Have a Ministry to Widows

Thom Rainer
Thom Rainer

This verse in Scripture cannot be more compelling or clearer:

“Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27)

Scholars have produced massive volumes on the biblical mandate to care for orphans and widows. The Bible is not ambiguous on this topic. I am grateful churches around the world have taken some steps to care for the orphans, though much more remains to be done.

But, in North American churches, I see hardly any intentional church wide ministries to widows. Millions are left to suffer and struggle in silence.

Though the biblical mandate to care for widows should be sufficient motive for our churches, consider some of the struggles widows experience.

These seven factoids should give you at least a glimpse of the need for ministries to widows in your church.

1. The death of a spouse is the number one stressor in a person’s life.

Too many survivors are not ready to deal with the issues of widowhood (Holmes and Rohe stress scale).

2. Over 800,000 persons are widowed each year.

Of that number, 700,000 are women (U. S. Bureau of the Census).

3. Widowhood lasts on the average 14 years.

That is a significant portion of any person’s life (U. S. Bureau of the Census).

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SOURCE: ThomRainer.com
Dr. Thom Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.