The information we have offered to pastors is two-fold. Articles in the Article Tab are written by pastors who have active widow ministries in place. Many ideas can be gleaned from their writings. In addition to these writings there are several widow ministry models highlighted below.
If you click on the topic you want from the model listings below it will take you directly to that section.
This ministry was founded by Herb Reese and "has been described in the monthly publications of Leadership Network, Promise Keepers, and Man in the Mirror and has been written about in Why Men Hate Going to Church and the Externally Focused Church" according to the website www.newcommandment.org. The ministry is devoted to helping churches "develop men's team ministries to people with long term needs, such as the widowed and single parents."
After a church identifies the widows and those who are needful of ongoing assistance, men are formed into teams and each team is assigned to a specific care receiver. Once every month the same team of men provide basic chores around the house but also take time to pray with the care receiver about her concerns and needs. Each team remains assigned to their care receiver indefinitely. This is a lifetime ministry model that is needed in our church today if we are to be faithful to James 1:27.
New Commandment Men's Ministries has several ways in which they can assist a church desiring to put this ministry in place. They are willing to accommodate churches of any size and offer on site training or consultation depending on your need and desire. For more information visit:
email Herb Reese directly --
email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
view short video footage about the ministry --
Find the footage on the site from the home page under "how you can connect." The short six minute video footage is entitled "Introduction to New Commandment Men's Ministries."
1 Timothy 5:1-16
Discussion as related to today's church culture:
Acts 2:44-47, Acts 4:32-37, and Acts 5:1-11 reveal that the early church was largely socialistic in its nature. The church today, however, does not have this same structure. Sadly, the government through the agency of welfare, social services, social security etc. has taken on the role of meeting the needs of the poor and destitute partly because the church has gradually given up that role. The family unit in years past was closely knit and as in many cultures in the world today took care of their own as was expected and outlined in 1 Timothy 5:4. In a Biblical worldview, the church would reclaim the responsibility for those in need and meet those needs not only physically but spiritually as well -- reaching the world for Christ through the ministry of reconciliation. Jesus said, "For the poor you have with you always;" (Matthew 26:11). These ministries to the poor, widowed, and destitute are lifetime ministries with needs that have no end.
WHO IS THE WIDOW THE CHURCH IS RESPONSIBLE TO SERVE?
Because of the cultural shift in our society today many families are split geographically. What about the widow who has children that are professed believers but are not walking in a faith relationship with Christ and so are unwilling to "practice piety in regard to their own family, and to make some return to their parents." (1 Timothy 5:4). Will the church turn its back on her? How dogmatic will the church be concerning the woman who is not yet 60 years old and has desperate needs that her family is unable or unwilling to meet (1 Timothy 5:9-11, 16). And what of the single mom? Where does she fit in? What impression will we make to a skeptical world who watches with a critical eye? How can a church find the resources to minister when the pews are often filled with members who are disinterested, not tithing and who are too busy with their own concerns to be of help to this sector of the church. Yet scripture is clear on this point -- we are responsible. In fact, the pulse of a healthy church is measured by their response to this standard: "This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world" (James 1:27).
HOW DID THE EARLY CHURCH RESPOND?
According to Acts 6:1-7 this inability or unwillingness to respond to the needs of the widow was not an uncommon problem. The early church addressed it by appointing seven men, deacons, who would be responsible to meet the daily needs of the widows -- and they were a well-identified group of women. If we are honest, unless we are members of a small and intimate group of believers, we would probably be hard-pressed to name every widow or single mom in our fellowship. But this is the first step in developing an ongoing ministry to the widow in her distress. We must first identify the widows in our membership who have no one to respond to their physical and spiritual needs. There will be some who have families that are faithful to their responsibilities but others will not.
HOW WILL THE CHURCH OF TODAY RESPOND?
The model found in Scripture clearly assigns the office of deacon to oversee whatever ministry we develop. As widows are identified and their particular needs are defined some may already have responsible family members taking care of them. Others may be in situations that allow for their needs to be met alternately outside of the church. This may reduce the numbers that are truly left "in distress" in terms of ongoing need. The deacons may not necessarily perform the work required to meet the widow's needs. Their role may be in the form of overseeing a well-developed men's ministry combined with widow-to-widow interactions aimed at spiritual growth and mentoring toward emotional health (see the Widow Ministry Model listings for ideas). The church membership no matter how small is full of expertise and talent intended to be used for the needs of the body. This website is devoted to participating in the process of assisting every church to develop programs aimed at ministering to the widow spiritually, emotionally, and physically through the newsletters, Bible studies, and pastor resources that we offer. If the church today is not willing to invest themselves in this task she will probably not be effective in long term ministry of any kind.