The Covenant Eyes Podcast

Hope for Single Moms and Fatherless Children: How Churches Can Make a Difference

June 12, 2024 Covenant Eyes / Sean Teis Season 3 Episode 26
Hope for Single Moms and Fatherless Children: How Churches Can Make a Difference
The Covenant Eyes Podcast
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The Covenant Eyes Podcast
Hope for Single Moms and Fatherless Children: How Churches Can Make a Difference
Jun 12, 2024 Season 3 Episode 26
Covenant Eyes / Sean Teis

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Millions of families are struggling without a father figure. In this episode of The Covenant Eyes Podcast, Karen Potter and Sean Teis, founder of Life Factors Fatherless Ministries, discuss the challenges faced by single moms and fatherless children. Sean shares his own story of growing up fatherless and how his ministry provides resources and support for these families.

Listeners will learn about:

  • The impact of fatherlessness on families and society
  • How churches can better serve single moms and grandparents raising grandkids
  • Resources available through Life Factors Fatherless Ministries, including the God Is My Dad app and single mom curriculum.

Call to Action:

  • Visit GodIsMyDad.com for resources for single moms, fatherless children, and grandparents.
  • Encourage your church to reach out to single moms and grandparents in your community.
  • Learn more about Life Factors Fatherless Ministries and how you can get involved.

Bonus: This episode also includes powerful stories of transformation from families helped by Sean's ministry.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

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Millions of families are struggling without a father figure. In this episode of The Covenant Eyes Podcast, Karen Potter and Sean Teis, founder of Life Factors Fatherless Ministries, discuss the challenges faced by single moms and fatherless children. Sean shares his own story of growing up fatherless and how his ministry provides resources and support for these families.

Listeners will learn about:

  • The impact of fatherlessness on families and society
  • How churches can better serve single moms and grandparents raising grandkids
  • Resources available through Life Factors Fatherless Ministries, including the God Is My Dad app and single mom curriculum.

Call to Action:

  • Visit GodIsMyDad.com for resources for single moms, fatherless children, and grandparents.
  • Encourage your church to reach out to single moms and grandparents in your community.
  • Learn more about Life Factors Fatherless Ministries and how you can get involved.

Bonus: This episode also includes powerful stories of transformation from families helped by Sean's ministry.

Try Covenant Eyes for FREE today!
Use Promo Code: FreePodcast

He. Hey, everybody, welcome back to the Covenant Eyes podcast. It's so good to be here with you, Karen Potter. And of course, I've got Rob Stoddard with me. Hey, Rob. Good morning Karen. Morning. I know we're getting started early today. I feel like a little confused. It's like the sun's on this side of my house. Like, what's going on here? So how's it going today? The. Doing good. Doing good? Yeah. Like you said is I had to put my shade down because the sun is so, so bright this morning that it's not a bad thing. That's a good thing. Yeah. Hey, before we get started, I do want to remind all of our listeners to make sure you subscribe and share this podcast. You are really going to enjoy today's conversation. Rob, who do we have joining us? Yeah. Before we do that, I want to add to, for our listeners, make sure you drop us a line. You can use Podcast@CovenantEyes.com. That's Podcast@CovenantEyes.com. We'd love to get some feedback or just ideas for shows or just just to hear from you. So so definitely, check that out. But yeah, Karen, our guest today, I'm really excited for the. This is such a needed, ministry. And so our guest today is Sean Teis. I hope I said that correct. Sean, first, welcome to today's podcast. It's great to be here. Sean Teis. That's just a correction. I knew that it's okay. No problem. Well, Sean, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into this ministry and what your ministry is all about. Well, the ministry is bird that in my own story, I, I grew up fatherless. My dad, came home and drunken rage when I was about nine months old, and he he had a past history of abuse, but this time he came home. He kicked my mom, my brother and my sister out of our house. but for some reason, he kept me the little, the little nine month old baby. And so my mom went over to the neighbor house in the panic. They got the cops to come. The cops showed up, and instead of gently handing me over to the cops, the my my dad took me and threw me across the room to the cops. And thankfully, that cop could catch. You know, the cop caught me that day, but my dad then packed up his things from our small town in Pennsylvania and went back to his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, and never came back. And so we started what I call the false journey that day. And so it's it's the birth out of my story. And then I went to school to be a pastor. And soon after going to Bible college, I started writing a book for fatherless guys. And the whole ministry really came from that book. And we started writing resources and started speaking. And and that was that was over 15 years ago. And we've been just plowing forward since then. Wow, what a story. Oh my gosh. And I can see how God would use that really to to help foster the programs that you're now offering that are helping people all over this country. You have, curriculum and programs that are really designed to help, mothers that are raising their children on their own and even grandparents. Is that correct? That is correct. Yes. We have, we have books we've written. Like I said, we have the father story for guys, we have the father story for girls, they’re 30 day journey, books, devotionals they are all right back here, we also have the single mom journey that we wrote using my mom's stories. We have children's books we've written for fatherless children, for motherless children, for orphan and foster care children. And then in 2017, we launched a an initiative called God is My Dad. GodIsMyDad.com is part of it. Our ministry is Life Factors, But then underneath these books and speaking and all this different stuff, spreading awareness. But GodIsMyDad.com is one of the ministries under there and it's a free mobile app you can download on the Apple and Google Play Store. And there's sections for fatherless, sections for single moms, sections for grandparents raising grandkids. And in there they can find all kinds of videos and online community and all kinds of free content to help them on their journey. And then we also have single Mom ministries that we started. we're trying to get one in every county of the United States, trying to get churches to start single mom ministries. And so, what we do is we provide the curriculum for that. We have right now, we have about two years worth of curriculum the churches can use to start single mom ministries up. So all kinds of content to help help churches as they minister, but also directly to the fatherless as well. in preparation for today's interview, I actually pulled up some stats too on just kind of the state of the Union and the state of our families in this country. I was actually really surprised that, the number of single family homes, has doubled since 1968. I mean, that's a that's a huge shift in the foundation of our country and our families. what does that mean for the church? you know, because traditionally, you know, the church has been mom, dad and the kids, and now it looks different. So what does that mean for the church? Well, one of the struggles with the church is the churches have not been equipped to deal with these families. And that's why we're trying to bridge that gap. we did a tour across the country in 2018 through 2021. We actually bought an RV and traveled the nation with my family, and it was an incredible journey. But one of the things that we learned, we were over 200 churches, around 200 churches. And one of the things that we learned was that single moms, oftentimes they felt like they they didn't belong, they felt like they were disconnected. They would tell us, I don't feel connected to my church. There's nobody here in this church that they'll mentor my kids. They would just share their burdens. And they weren't trying to bash our church. They would say, you know, a lot of times they love their church. But there was there was a need there. So that's one of the things that we're seeing a struggle with, with churches is they don't know how to minister to these families. They know how to minister to these moms. They don't know how to help them. And so through providing some curriculum or training. And so one of the things we're trying to do now is, like I said, we're trying to get single moms connected to churches. So one of the things that helped my life was my my mom got invited to church, and on the old school bus ministry, if you guys remember the bus ministries the churches had back in the day, these big bus ministries, well, we were one of those families and we actually rode together as a family. I was a baby. And and then I got connected to the church, got connected to Christian school. And so through that, my life was changed. And so that was all by the grace of God. But I was connected to mentors and different people like that. And so there's churches are struggling trying to figure out how to minister to these families effectively. But really, if you find caring mentors and people like that, it will definitely really make a big difference in their life. That is, that's so needed and so true. Shun when when you have resources for the church, you talk about training. What does that entail? We have a lot of pastors and leaders on here. What exactly can you help them with with that? Well, there's a couple different levels that we we offer up to help them. And we we used to do a lot of traveling and speaking. We've kind of dial back on that because when we where we're traveling, speaking, I mean, like I said, we went to like 200 churches, but we realized we were barely, you know, making an a drop in the bucket, compared to all the churches that are out there. And so we decided to go more digital with our resources. And so one of the things we have is the God Is My Dad church and Ministries network. And so you can go on our website, you can go to GodIsMyDad.com and click on Find a Church. And there's a bunch of different churches on there that have joined our network. And so that helps fatherless families find their church. And so we're trying to show that shows these families that there's churches that care about them and that have resources once they get there to help them. They have our books in digital form. They have, all kinds of video content for them, all kinds of help with, you know, with them. There's even training for the churches that we provide through that so churches can join our God Is My Dad network. And so they're kind of like vetted churches, in a sense, for these fatherless families. We also, like I said, we have the curriculum for single mom ministry. So if churches want to go to the next step and not just be part of the network, they can start a single mom ministry. And what that looks like is, we set it up in a way because I was I was a youth pastor for, you know, for over six years. And, and I, you know, the last thing I would want is another program. And so we set it up where it's not another program. It's really you just it's a turnkey operation. You just have to find a, caring facilitator in your church like a lady that cares about them. She doesn't have to be a former single mom, but somebody that cares about these families and they would just really facilitate the group. And you have it during a Wednesday night or a Sunday morning when there's already connection classes or Sunday school, or Wednesday night when there's already a Juanita's or whatever program. And churches offer. And then they, they just have an extra group in a side room or something like that. And we have the videos that you can play and we walk through all the content, all kinds of stuff mean 30 week. We've a 30 week curriculum, the single mom journey. We have another course, How to Parent well as a Single Mom is 14 part, series. We have another one coming out called God Is my dad attributes it really teaching the the single moms how to disciple their kids about God being their heavenly father. And so all kinds of content for these families. But you just have to set it up and invite them to come. you invite them through Facebook and we can show you how to do all that. And we give training on how to how to invite them out and how to get them connected and, and really, really just provide all the resources you need for that so you can go to that next level. And it's really not that complicated. It's when you already have child care. And then we also encourage you to have like a quarterly activity. So it's very simple. But you get these families connected to church and then the kids are getting connected to church. And then from there you see what your kids need mentor or maybe get connected to another family more specifically. But it's we've seen great things from it. It was birthed that of some work we just did in Las Vegas. over the last couple of years, we started a single mom ministry out there, and we we pulled in about 30 single moms, and they were just amazed that there was actually a group for them to help them on their journey. Wow. That is some incredible work that you're doing there. And you know, in our work here at Covenant Eyes, we often see the results of brokenness and family structures. you know, statistically, it's very, very, possible that, you know, girls that don't have a father in the home, a loving, caring father or an absent father are more likely to be sexually active or to experience teen pregnancy or sexual abuse, possibly even get involved in pornography as well. And then on the male side, the same could be true for our males as well. that don't grow up with that father figure in the home. And I know you have a ton of statistics, but, as a former educator, I know the statistics. Well, behavior issues more likely to be in prison, abuse, neglect, drugs. I mean, there's so many social issues that come from the lack of a father figure. So when you start a program like this in your church to support those overworked moms who need the help, it's got to be transformative. I, I can't imagine. Do you have some stories that you can share with our listeners? just a, you know, maybe a an example of how this has transformed a mom's life and really given her, you know, some space and some training and even some rest because, my goodness, to be mom and dad in the home, that's that's a lot. That's a heavy burden. Yeah. We've I mean, we've had different ladies tell us that they were just blown away that there was a group for them, and they were so encouraged by the curriculum that we offer. I mean, I just off the top of my head, I'm trying to think, I know different people, but I don't have the exact, you know, all the testimonials written out right in front of me. But yeah, we had this one. Mom, she, she was from, I think she beliefs from Queens, New York, and she was living in Las Vegas. She had no community, nobody around her to help her. And she found out about this group on Facebook, and she she couldn't believe that there was a a group for her. And she said she just the curriculum just really helped her on her journey and helps her with the things she was facing. And it was just a support for her. We just had a mom, the guy that got connected to our group in the at the beginning of 2022, and we first launched it in Las Vegas, and she just got baptized and connected to this, this church in, in Las Vegas when she's been out for a long time. And she's looking for ways to serve, looking for ways to give back to the church. She has a young a young son. I just shared her, her reel of her baptism on my, on Facebook and stuff. And, and we got a huge response from me because it's just amazing to see that she was just she's just all in and she's ready to go. She actually grew up herself in a, I believe it was an orphanage, facility where it was just it was a group home, where she was, she was plugged into she was in foster care. Then she was in a group home, and then she was trying to break the cycle herself. And so just seeing her and she has a little boy, he's going to be going into kindergarten this fall, and he's going to probably go to the Christian school there. And so he's really just she's breaking the cycle for her son. And it's just amazing to see that those changes there. We had a young man tell us he wouldn't have graduated high school if it wouldn't have been for our ministry and the resources we provide and the mentoring that we had, for his life. We had another girl tell us a one time, a testimonial. We have some of these testimonies listed on our website where she said that she was just it changed her life and she wouldn't be put together now as an adult or as a young adult because of these resources. So just really being intentional with these families and in spending some time mentoring them and helping them, you know, one of the statistics is 71% of pregnant teenage girls come from fatherless homes, 71%. And so if we could focus on these girls and show them that there's a caring adult, there's people there that that care about them, because that's provide security to a young girl's life. And when dad's not there to provide that security to them, they often find it through a boyfriend, or they find it through a man that takes advantage of them, and it ends up being that way. And then a lot of times they'll get trafficked and things like that. And so then the thing is, if you can provide security through a caring couple, a caring couple mentor, or people that are caring for their mom and they get discipled through that, that way it can change that girl's life. And she doesn't have to find security somewhere else. And so that's one of the things that can really help these girls and change, change their lives so they don't have to become a single mom, just like their mom was, because a lot of times they can become a single mom too, and then their daughter becomes a single mom and or their their son makes their children fatherless. And it's just continues the cycle. And so even my dad, my dad was he grew up fatherless. His dad died when he was 13 years old. And he became a statistic. And, you know, we're working with Covenant Eyes. My dad was actually heavily involved in the adult film industry in Las Vegas, and I believe that was a lot of that was due to his, growing up fatherless. He was a drug addict, alcoholic. And, you know, he made me nuts fatherless because of it. But he also was plugged into the the porn industry there in Vegas. Sean, I was really, encouraged to see the, the resources you have for grandparents because you see that more and more and more where grandparents are stepping in and helping, you know, the single moms, the grandkids. Tell us a little bit about, you know, really what grandparents need in that scenario. And then what what do you provide, what kind of help you provide? Grandparents just need to know that there's people that are there to assist them with the situation they're facing. a lot of times grandparents are strong. They can handle it. They've already raised kids or they're they're ready to go, but they need some assistance. They need to know that those people that care. And again, this was birthed out of my story, my, my I moved in with my grandparents, raised in second grade. And so I was blessed to have my grandparents. I mean, they poured into my life. But I look back and I think to myself, what would it have been like if they would have had more of a church support, more of a Christian support system behind them, telling them, hey, you're doing a good job. Hey, here's some resources. Here's a mentor for your kids. And my grandparents were blessed to have the fact that I had a church behind me, you know, to help me assist them, you know, with helping raise me because my mom moved into another house and it just, you know, there's like all the other stories out there, there's so many different sticky situations with it. But but I was living with my grandparents and it was a it was a stable place for me. And so helping grandparents establish that stable Christian home, is something you can do. So one of the things that we provide on our our God is My Dad website is we have videos for them just to encourage them, telling them, these are things you can do to encourage your grandkids. These are some things you can, do to help them. We also have a Facebook community that they can join. They can search for, on on Facebook. God is my dad. Grandparents. They search for that. They can find it there. But this is to help them with, you know what with what they're facing. Just a community group. just videos for them. We're also going to come out with a devotional, just like we have for single moms and families. Individuals are going to be coming out with a book for grandparents raising grandkids as well. So just those different resources just to help them on their journey. And with churches, I wanna encourage pastors to just check in on them, check in on them on a regular basis. Maybe doesn't have to be all every week, maybe once a month, once a quarter. Just make sure they're doing okay and see what they need. we're not talking financially here. Could could be financially, but we're talking about just a support system for them saying, hey, how are your grandkids doing? How they're developing. How how are you feeling about this? Can we can we provide any discipleship resources? Can we help you with a mentor? And if like that, in those ways, trying to help them on their their journey so that they can help their grandkids because they want their grandkids to succeed. That's why they're doing this. They don't want their their, their kids because they might their child might have failed. I mean, they may have passed away. They may have had in other situations, their child may have failed as well. So they don't want their grandchild to fail as well. And so just checking in on them to help them succeed as a grandparent, raising grandkids, that's incredible. I think that's just such a great outreach, and I think it's a huge opportunity for our church. I think we can all find a way to do a better job in this area, supporting either the moms or the grandparents, because, more frequently, I think we're seeing more single moms come into churches and I, I don't know if this is accurate, but sometimes I feel like maybe they feel like they don't have a place in the church because we don't have programs that really speak to them and where they are in their life. You know, we sometimes will have marriage retreats or we'll have couples, you know, programs or we have kids programs. But what is there for the single moms out there? And I think that's a huge miss. I think it's just it's something that we need to do a better job as a, as a church. So I'm excited to introduce this. and I say this as, you know, someone that I think I'd like to talk to my pastor about, you know, what are we doing to reach the single moms and the grandparents that are raising children, in our churches? Because I don't know that we have a program for that. And I'd love to see that in my own local church. So thank you for your work. with that. Like what? I guess, for our listeners, you know, we want to give them some clear takeaways and some calls to action. So what would you like to encourage our listeners to do after listening to this podcast? I'm sure their hearts are being moved, but what's the next step for them? Well, we take an organic approach with our ministry, and so when we go and speak in churches, a lot of times we'll tell them, hey, think about the finalists that are in your circle of influence. You know, who is God strategically placed in your circle. So if you're listening to this right now, first of all, make sure your life's on track. Make sure that you're following God. You don't want to be working with a child or teen, you know, teen or young adult in your life. Some mess, you know what I mean? So make sure that you're following God as we tell people, make sure you're following God. You're if you're living for God. And then also make sure that as a dad, you're focusing on your own kids first. And so spend time with your own kids. Make sure you're on track with those things. But if you are, think about in your circle of influence who's in your circle? And then and then look for the fatherless individuals. Maybe there's a single mom that you work with. Maybe there's a grandparent is in grandkids down the street. Maybe you have a niece or nephew that's fatherless. Maybe they don't even live near you, but they're across the country. How can you start encouraging them? Start mentoring them doesn't have to be where they live. In the same apartment complex as you are, the same housing development or whatever it might be. That doesn't have to be. They lived down the street. They could be across the country like a niece or nephew. And you're just thinking to yourself, man, I, I could spend a little time with them digitally. And so how can you start encouraging those kids? Because they want some attention, that craving attention. So look for ways to spend some time with the people that God has put your circle of influence and mentoring them. Well, you can watch the videos on GodIsMyDad.com and then talk to them about it. It's a free resource. We have. We have the books that you can use if you want to do it that way, however you want to do it, but start discipling them and working with them to help them. If everybody, if every Christian would go into their circle of influence and start mentoring the fatherless around them, we can make a huge difference in this fatherless issue in our nation. And so it's an easy way to get involved. And really, the number one social epidemic in our country is fatherlessness. If you can do something about it by just going into your circle and saying, who, who's in my circle and how can I help them? And then maybe you're thinking, well, I don't want to mentor fall. This child will start being an encouragement to the single mom around you and start trying to help her on her journey or start working with the grandparents raising grandkids. Or maybe there's a single dad that you know that could use some support, or motherless child. Start working with them. However God leads. Go in that direction. Pray about it. Ask God to help you, and then just get started. Because the devil doesn't want us to reach these families. These families are kind of held by the in the grips of the of of the devil. He wants to hold them back. He wants to keep them from following God. He wants to make them a statistic. Just like that are the a lot of times their parents were. And you have an opportunity to pull them out of that through the power of God. And it's a great opportunity for ministry. Get involved in the and the best way you can and get started today. So, Sean, where is the best place for people to to plug into all these ministries at God Is My Dad website? Is that the main place that they find all of that? Yeah LifeFactors.org. LifeFactors.org is our is our website. It's our main ministry website. That's for churches. And people want to get involved in mentoring and reaching single moms. We keep that separate. GodIsMyDad.com. We try to keep that just for the fatherless. So that's for fatherless families. That's where they can find the content, for them directly. So we keep it separated so we don't have the statistics and all that stuff listed, in the resources to minister to the fatherless on the same website, but LifeFactors.org and GodIsMyDad.com. Okay. Excellent. We'll get those in the show notes. So everyone will have those but, wonderful. Well Sean, just kind of wrapping up today, you know, any final encouragement or anything you want to, to say to our listeners? Yeah, if you're listening to this and you grew up fatherless, maybe you're growing up fatherless right now, you can overcome it. And that's why we created God as my dad, just to help you, encourage you to know that through personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can succeed. Yeah, like I said, the devil doesn't want you to succeed. But you can. You can break the cycle. You don't have to grow up and make your kids fatherless, or you make your kids motherless or or be a statistic or, you know, go down the paths of all the different statistics out there of drug and alcohol addiction or porn addiction or whatever it might be, that the devil has a grip on you, you can break free from that through the power of God in your life. And that's by trusting Jesus as your personal Savior for you. So if you've never done that before, put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. By realizing you're a sinner, realize your sin is going to lead you to hell. And by believing that Jesus died on the cross and rose again by calling upon Jesus to save you. Bible says, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. So trust in Jesus today. And then beyond that you can grow, in your walk with God, and you can succeed. And I'm here to testify. I should be a statistic. I should be an alcoholic, just like my dad was. I should have went down that same path. But by the grace of God, I'm on this, this podcast right now to share my testimony. And you can do the same thing. You can overcome it, and you can succeed with God and go down a successful life path. You can get married and have a successful marriage. You can you can go down a path of success and business or ministry or whatever God's called you to do. You can raise kids to honor God just by putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and then deciding, I'm going to live for God and I'm going to break the cycle. If you're growing up fatherless, if you're not going to fathers, just give your life to God, to you don't have to just cross paths to give your life to God. Give your life to God. I'm telling you, you won't regret it. Wow, that's. That's enough said. Amen. Praise God for your testimony and for sharing everything that you're doing with your ministries. I we are so grateful our listeners will surely be blessed by what you've shared. And I do want to just encourage our listeners to check out those links. Thank you so much, pastor, for joining us today. This has been inspirational and we hope to have you back in the future with any new things that you have coming to the table, so we can share those with our audience. Thanks so much for having me on. I really enjoyed it. Awesome. Well, thank you everybody for tuning in to this episode of the Covenant Eyes Podcast. We'll see you next time. Till then, take care. God bless with goodbye.

Introduction to Sean Teis
About "God Is My Father" Ministry
The Church's Role in the Lives of the Fatherless & Single Moms
Stories of Hope from Single Moms
Resources for Grandparents Who Step in for the Fatherless
Takeaways for Us
Taking the Next Steps: "God Is My Dad" Resources
Closing Comments