He Said-She Said: What Can the Church Do for Singles?
- Thursday, July 16, 2009
It is also difficult to allocate strained resources to a program which may only reach a handful of people, while many of those attending yearn to be "ineligible" for a singles group. It is more resource-effective to mix singles into the fold rather than specifically try to meet our individual needs.
The success of any singles group seems to be measured by (and rejoices over) the reduction of the size of the group rather than a growth in membership.
So what can a church do?
- A church can encourage its membership to include (not just use) singles of every type in all of their activities.
- A church can encourage its members to lead, encourage and mentor singles—spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.
- A church can encourage and provide resources for singles to create an atmosphere where they can grow in the Word, share common desires, and meet their needs.
- A church can provide leadership and guidance that challenges singles to take part in opportunities to serve in the church and to serve others, rather than self-serving.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).
What can we (singles) do?
- We can participate in more activities in the church, not just those geared towards singles or where only singles are involved.
- We can share our struggles, triumphs, experiences and lives with others in the church (and seek counsel when needed).
- We can take responsibility to organize our own activities and create opportunities for singles to gather.
- We can utilize our time to serve and minister to others.
- We can step out of our own comfort zone.
Although we belong to a diverse and vast segment of the population that is growing rather than diminishing, it can be frustrating not finding a group of people in your church who understand you, who speak to you and who relate to you.
If you are feeling this way in your church, I am sure there are many more who share your sentiment. Ask your pastor, deacon, elder or church leaders to help create a situation to fulfill your needs. Talk to others about what they would want in such a group. Put an announcement in your church bulletin about starting up a group or asking for volunteers to lead.
When I faced this dilemma in a church where I was serving, my pastor suggested I look for opportunities at other churches (but not leave my church).
The "church" is ultimately not responsible for fulfilling all of our needs. We are the church. We each need to take responsibility for ourselves for what we want and desire. If you see a need, fill it.
The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28).
SHE SAID: You know what? You're right. It IS hard being a single. The older I get, the more I find this to be true. And the further away you get from the years when you had a ready-made group of friends at your disposal (high school, college, the 20s), then the harder it is to find a group of friends who share your same space in life.
Because what happens after these time periods have ended? Well, generally most people get married in their mid-to-late 20s or early-to-mid 30s. And so they've moved on to different demographics (married and/or with children). It's just the way it is. There are more people who are married and who have families than not on this planet. And this will probably not change, meaning there will probably always be fewer singles (never married, divorced, widowed) and more couples and families with children.
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