Making a difference.

How often do we slip into a regular pattern of life, and then find ourselves convicted about not making enough of a difference in our world?

We’re good at loading ourselves with guilt, assuming our “ordinary” lives are inferior to bold, exciting adventures full of flashy ministry and impact. We evaluate ourselves by looking at what other people are doing, instead of what God has given us to do.

But if all of us were living “extraordinary” lives, wouldn’t the extraordinary then be ordinary?

Meanwhile, what kind of impact does God want us to have, if not a life of honest worship in all that we do and say? Whether we find such a routine exciting or not.

I think I can prove this through four subtle ways single Christians in North America impact our churches, and our world. These are ordinary, unexceptional things, but through them, might we be making more of a difference than we realize?

Guys With Trucks Make the Move

Take moving, for instance. Every singles group I’ve been in – even when I lived in New York City – had people needing help with moving their household furniture. It’s like part of the DNA of singles groups. And how many singles ministries don’t (coincidentally) have guys with pickup trucks who can’t avoid being obliged to help!

Fortunately, pickup owners usually love hauling things, and raving about how much stuff they can fit into the bed of their truck. After all, have you ever met a pickup owner whose truck bed is spotless, without a scrape or dent? The scars your furniture may put in their vehicle will be like badges of honor to them. Even if that damage doesn’t look so great on your furniture.

Still, getting dirty and sweaty moving somebody else’s stuff isn’t exactly thrilling, is it? Especially since singles tend to move a lot.  But think about it: have you ever helped on one of these moves and found your group had less camaraderie afterwards?

Single Dollars

How about this? I used to work in the accounting office for a large church, and let me tell you: one learns an awful lot about a church by working with its money!

Usually, pastors preach about tithing with an eye towards traditional families in their congregation. However, if the church where I worked is representative of most, we can overlook the impact singles are making biweekly or monthly on Kingdom business.

I didn’t intend to spy on my friends, but I was one of the people who posted weekly contributions into our church’s database for IRS purposes. And I can testify that my fellow singles were generously participating before God and honoring him in the financial ministry of our congregation. From high-dollar checks to the widow’s mite, it may be a perfunctory obligation at the time, but bringing our first fruits to God’s storehouse is a basic way all of us can participate in something extraordinary.

Unfortunately, only a fraction of any church’s membership tithe, and I sometimes wonder how much more God may have in store for us if more singles were obedient in this area. We can debate the ways God’s money is spent, but we can’t debate tithing because of our marital status.

After all, if we’re hoarding our money until something more exceptional comes along, will the wait really be worth it?

Tipping the Hat to Single Tippers

Speaking of money, I’ve come to suspect that we singles make better tippers in restaurants.

Okay, so maybe this is more assumption than observation, but I’ve had a bit of practical experience here, too. One of the assorted jobs I’ve held in my life was at a local Mexican restaurant that’s popular with groups, because its tables can be easily maneuvered to accommodate large parties of diners.