Original Research

Die bediening aan enkelouergesinne met adolessente: ’n inklusiewe en intergenerasionele uitdaging

Johan W. Scholtz, Malan Nel, Jacques Beukes
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 58, No 1 | a3033 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v58i1.3033 | © 2024 Johan W. Scholtz, Malan Nel, Jaques Beukes | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 October 2023 | Published: 31 May 2024

About the author(s)

Johan W. Scholtz, Department of Practical Theology and Mission, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Hatfield, South Africa
Malan Nel, Department of Practical Theology and Mission, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Hatfield, South Africa
Jacques Beukes, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, School of Humanities, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa (UNISA), Pretoria, South Africa


Serving single-parent families with adolescents: An inclusive and intergenerational challenge. This article focused on the ministry to single-parent families after divorce. The study had its origins in the author’s observation that adolescents from single-parent homes are picked up and dropped off by their parents for catechesis, but that the parents are not involved in activities in the congregation – not even just to attend the worship service. The research had the objective to investigate why single-parent families do not experience themselves as true families within the church and do not receive the necessary support in the faith formation of their children. The fourfold reflective equilibrium approach of Osmer was used as the frame for how this article was structured. As a basis for the interpretation of the empirical findings, the relationship between youth and family ministry is portrayed to lay a theological basis for an inclusive approach. The qualitative empirical study included 17 randomly selected single parents. The empirical study confirmed that single parents find it difficult to survive. The demands placed upon them are intense and they depend on a support network to meet the basic needs of the family. These single parents further believe that the church cannot help them with this. The research confirmed that single parents do not experience acceptance in the church and that they do not receive support in the faith formation of their children. The two hermeneutic spheres for the understanding of faith are a source of tension for the adolescents because of the difference in understanding of matters of faith between their divorced parents. The involvement of grandparents was found to be a key factor in the support of the single-parent family and needs to be addressed in an intergenerational approach. The positive involvement of the local pastor can also be used as a changing factor in the support of the single-parent family.

Contribution: This article contributes to a paradigm shift in the understanding of how families are constructed, especially single-parent families. The article reports on research that will be valuable for congregations in planning their ministry towards single-parent families.


adolescence; family ministry; single parent family; faith formation; family; family ministry; identity formation; inclusive ministry; intergenerational approach; youth ministry

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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