He Said-She Said: What Can the Church Do for Singles?
- Thursday, July 16, 2009
So, where does that leave you? And me? We can't change others and we can't change the way things are, but we can certainly change ourselves. We can't wish something or someone or a pattern or a system into being different all of a sudden. But you and I can be different. We can start there. It's a matter of perspective, and we can choose to make a difference.
But what kind of difference? Okay, fine. So everyone we know at church is married and has children (I say that facetiously). And the Church (universal) is geared more toward families (or so it seems). So the question may not be, "What can my church do for singles?" (because it's probably not going to change up all its programs or ministries tomorrow to meet the diverse needs of singles who are here today), but more so "what can I do for my church?"
Whoa. Hey now. Isn't my church supposed to be equipped to minister to me? Isn't that what it's there for? Well, the interesting thing is that the body of Christ has different members with different (but equal) gifts. We function individually and corporately to minister to each other. That's right. We all should be reaching out and we all should be concerned for one another. I help you. You help me. She helps him. And he helps her. And so on, and so on (1 Corinthians 12:12-31).
When you change your perspective and focus more on plugging in and giving and helping others, then you will find that you are blessed, you are doing something good for someone else and God is glorified. At least that's what I've found in my experience.
In that vein, I love the way 2 Corinthians charges us to take responsibility and to sow generously (not just monetarily, but through our time, our talents and our spiritual gifts):
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all time, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. …
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:6-8; 11-15).
Look how much good can come out of one person who submits to God! That could be you. That could be me. This is how we can make an impact in our churches and for the Kingdom. Just think about the ways you can contribute to your church and how you can reach out. What are your talents? What are your gifts? What are your resources? And what availability do you have in your schedule? God can use you in the lives of others.
Are you catching the vision? This is good stuff!
And now let me close with this final thought: I know it is not easy to do this and to think and to act in this way. It is a conscious and sometimes dragging-your-feet type of effort. We are selfish and sinful, and we don't naturally want to get out of our comfort zones and focus on the needs of others. But if we are open and willing to sacrifice and to submit our lives to the Lord, he will work through us and change our hearts and our minds and our motivation and our attitudes.
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