Launching a Singles Ministry
- Wednesday, January 26, 2005
In 2003, several people in my DivorceCare class talked about having a movie night so we could hang out socially. Soon we started organizing monthly movie nights at the church, which we advertised in the church's weekly newsletter.
After three months of movie nights, a couple of the women asked me where "our" class was. The older single-again crowd didn't have a class. So in January of 2004, we started a Sunday school class with eight people and an agenda of prayer requests, a lesson/topic, and some discussion time.
Today, as we approach our first anniversary, the class has 14-20 regular attenders with well over 50 on the roster. It's grown as a community and we're getting to know each other better as we have dinners, holiday parties, and other events together.
First and foremost, pray for vision and guidance. Once God gives the vision, write it and make it plain (see Habakkuk 2:2). Do you want to minister to the needs of never-married singles, divorced singles, widowed singles, single parents, etc.? Once you've determined your target and vision, meet with your senior pastor to make sure it lines up with the church's overall vision. The church needs to be aware of what you're doing.
Find people to serve in leadership roles whose vision lines up with vision for the ministry. You need people who are willing to work. There's so much work to be done that one person trying to do it all will become frustrated and exhausted (trust me, I've been there time and time again). Delegation of duties is vital.
Next, determine the needs of your group. I recommend conducting a survey. How will you minister to these needs? Will you conduct Bible studies and promote building a relationship with Christ? Will you take the time to build relationships with the singles through social activities? I've noticed that singles want to know they're loved and that they matter. The leadership in our ministry is responsible for calling each member between our meetings. We also encourage them to call one another and to fellowship together outside of church.
How will you fellowship? Singles ministries are more than having Bible studies and potlucks! Solicit ideas from the group. Go bowling or skating, attend basketball games, go out to eat, take road trips, have cookouts at a park, go to the movies, have retreats, play pool, host a karaoke night. Or just gather at someone's house to play cards and eat! We have Singles Mingles, quarterly parties where we hire a DJ, dance, play games, and eat. (Free food is a good way to get people to come).
Then, think about how you're going to get the singles involved in building the kingdom. How will you display God's love to others? Will you do missions work or volunteer in your community? Work with local programs such as the Big Brothers/Big Sisters, volunteer tomentor someone less fortunate, minister to single parents in a low-income community, or reach out to the elderly in a nursing home.
We welcome your feedback and brainstorms at: SinglesNewsletter@ChristianityToday.com
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