Anyone Can Have a Singles Ministry
- Kris Swiatocho The Singles Network Ministries
- 2013 3 Oct
Last year I was on my Jesus, Single Like Me book tour in the England. I had the honor of speaking at various churches and singles ministries. Upon one particular visit to the New Testament Church in Wolverhampton, England, I met a wonderful lady named Epie.
I had just finished speaking and was in the fellowship hall having some refreshments. Like most places I speak, I get a ton of folks that come up afterwards to talk to me. Mostly folks like to tell me how God speaks to them through the message I share or they have a personal prayer need. What an honor it is to meet so many new people and hear their stories! What an honor it is to pray with them.
However, this time would be different.
Epie had been married for twenty years and now divorced for almost the same. She had raised a family and was content with where God had her. She proceeded to tell me that she had met a nice man and was engaged to be married—something she never thought could happen at her age.
She was very excited about the new step in her life. The joy was written on her face. I smiled and gave her a big hug, thinking this was all she wanted to tell me, but she had more to say.
Epie told me how over the years since her divorce that even though she was content in Christ she had been lonely, especially now that her kids were all grown. She had missed taking care of someone. She missed preparing meals, keeping a clean house, all the noise and laughter, sharing her faith, and those big hugs. She missed waiting for them to come home to share their day. She miss them just coming home. She hated being alone.
One day she decided to change things.
She decided to open up her home to young single women who needed an inexpensive place to stay—even if it was only temporary—and maybe a mother’s touch in their lives. She would have some rules, some boundaries, but the goal would be simple: to help them.
She recalled how she had so many different kinds of young ladies over the years. Some were very independent and didn’t need much from Epie, while others missed their moms and were experiencing loneliness too. Some were in trouble, some were scared, some were busy in school and some worked two jobs. All in all, Epie was able to not only share her home but her life in Christ with each of these young ladies.
So many lives were changed as a result.
Besides opening up her home, Epie also told me how she loves to visit the shut-ins, specifically older single adults whom others have forgotten. She takes them a meal, runs errands for them, or just listens, offering prayer and encouragement.
After she shared all of this, I asked, “Epie, did you realize you have had a singles ministry all this time?”
Epie replied, “Wow, I guess I have, Kris.”
Singles ministry doesn’t have to be huge with a big budget or big building. It can be between two friends, having a Bible study. It can be a mentoring relationship with setting goals in mind. It can be a small group gathered with something in common such as children or a hobby. It can be a group that helps the homeless, goes on a mission trip or tutors kids. Singles ministry can be about singles coming together to reach others for Christ. How you do it, how large, and how often is up to you.
So what can we learn from Epie?
1. Anyone can have a singles ministry. All you have to do is start with yourself reaching others for Christ.
2. Use what you already have. Epie used her home, something she already owned, and opened it up to others. Now, she had boundaries (no alcohol or men, be home by 11pm, etc) but that would be up to you. In my travels I have stayed at numerous homes. I am thankful to the wonderful singles and marrieds who had that extra bedroom and offered it to me.
3. Use your gifts. Epie knew her gifts and how to use them. What has God given you to you? Maybe you could teach kids or singles or make a meal for a shut-in. Pray and ask God what you can do to help others.
4. Don't be afraid to step out of your safety box. Ask God for boldness and favor. For creativity and passion. You never know where he might take you. Maybe even to England, like he took me!
“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42).
Kris Swiatocho is the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is the author of three books: Singles and Relationships: A 31-Day Experiment (co-authored with Dick Purnell of Single Life Resources); From the Manger to the Cross: The Women in Jesus' Life; and the most recent, Jesus, Single Like Me with Study Questions (includes a leader's guide and conference/retreat of the same name). Kris is currently working on her fourth book: FAQ's of Singles Ministry coming 2013.
TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries helps churches, pastors and single adult leaders evaluate, develop and support their single adult ministries through high-energy speaking engagements, results-oriented consulting and training and leadership development conferences and seminars. Click here to request a FREE "How to Start a Single Adult Ministry" guide.
FromHisHands.com Ministries is Kris' speaking ministry. If you've ever heard her speak, you know that Kris is the kind of speaker who keeps the crowd captivated, shares great information and motivates people to make a difference in the lives of those around them! She speaks to all church audiences on everything from "first impression" ministry to women's topics to singles and young adults. She can speak on a Sunday morning, at a woman's retreat or for a single adults conference. Bring Kris to your church today!
Publication date: October 3, 2013