Christian Singles & Dating

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Everyone Knows a Single Adult - Q&A

Everyone Knows a Single Adult - Q&A

[Editor’s Note: This excerpt is taken from Everyone Knows a Single Adult: FAQs of Single Adult Ministry by Kris Swiatocho and Dennis Franck, along with other contributors. 2015, pp. 7-9, 100-101, 104-108. Used with permission.]

Everyone Knows a Single Adult

Q: What are a few of the elements of single adult ministry, considered vital to its development?
Leadership should be someone with a true heart for single adults. Trust me … single adults know if you really have a heart for them. Having a leader who has been a single adult during his/her adult life is a possible added benefit. Also, monthly outings, regular dinner outings, annual retreats, etc.

—Pastor Ray Raney

1. Prayer. You need to be praying for direction of your ministry—who  will be on your team, your goals, vision, who the ministry is for and so forth.
2. Core group of leaders/prayer warriors to start the process.
3. Support of your church/community. Without it, it’s very difficult to get started and grow.

—Kris Swiatocho

Q: What are some of the personal trends affecting single adult ministry today?
•   The “living together” phenomenon
•   Lack of purity in dating
•   Extended adolescence and marrying at an older age
•   Energy drain on single parents—no time, money or energy to do much outside of family/work
•   Financial cutbacks in many single adult ministries

—Pastor Woods Watson

I think, especially for 20–somethings, there have been some major shifts in thinking, connectedness and community. Books like UnChristian and You Lost Me, by David Kinnaman (Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Books, 2011) are great reading. Hopefully, we can get a better handle on what 20–somethings are thinking and how they are reading our world and church.

I also have seen “desperation” in our 35+ single adults a little more than before. We have a great Divorce Care ministry, with many of the folks choosing to stay at WCC (Worthington Christian Church, Columbus, Ohio). Dealing with some of them for the long haul could be some of that issue. But, I see so many of our “believing” singles ditching what they know to be true just for momentary satisfaction. I thought they “had it together spiritually,” but later see they were just desperate for the wrong things. We can teach on purity issues, but it seems they can hear and think it does not apply to them!

—Pastor Don Hooper

We have seen the growing practice of single adults having more than one home church. Some people like the teaching or preaching at one church, the events at another church, and the music at still another church. This trend is not specific to only single adults, but married adults as well, especially those who are not very mature in their relationship with the Lord.

Another trend is the lack of personal accountability. This is really a continuing trend, because generally, single adults, as well as married adults, have not been committed to finding and maintaining an accountability relationship. The fear of transparency, and the time and effort needed to develop this type of relationship is often perceived to be too much of an investment.

—Dennis Franck

Q: What do you consider to be the Top 10 Critical Issues in Single  Adult Ministry Today?
•   The stigma of single adult ministry being a meat market (dating service)
•   More women than men come to single adult ministry events
•   The challenge to get dedicated team members
•   Financing for events
•   Getting the pastor onboard
•   Educating the parishioners about the importance of SAM
•   Taking away the stigma that folks are in SAM to find a mate
•   Creating programming for the many types of single adults
•   Creating programming for the diverse age groups
•   Making SAM so exciting any single adult would want to join

—Andrea Hicks

1. Overcoming the misconceptions/stigmas about single adults
2. Overcoming the misconceptions/stigmas about single adult ministry
3. Recruiting/training/motivating a great team (volunteers and leaders)
4. Meeting the diverse needs of single adults
5. Attracting and retaining men in single adult ministry
6. A proper understanding and presentation of single adult ministry in the context of the meet/meat market
7. Teaching and discussion of single specific issues within a single adult  ministry (sexuality, dating, friendships, loneliness,
singleness, etc.)
8. Effectively dealing with problem people
9. Outreach and social justice projects for single adults
10. Effective integration of single adults into the larger church body and/or local church

—Pastor Kevin Whidden

1. What do I do with my loneliness?
2. How do I meet men/women?
3. How far do I go in a relationship?
4. Divorce
5. Finances
6. Raising kids when both parents have different values
7. Finding a church
8. Dealing with porn
9. Developing healthy habits (financial, emotional, relational, physical and spiritual)
10. Helping single adults develop healthy friendships

—Pastor Michael Baggett

Kris Swiatocho is the President and Director of Ministries and 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 also the author of four books.

Dennis Franck is founder of Franck Insights and brings over three decades of experience with young adults, single adults, single - parent families and ministry/leadership development. He served 21 years as a single’s pastor, and 14 years as director of Single Adult Ministries for the Assemblies of God National Leadership and Resource Center in Springfield, MO. For more information on resources from Franck Insights visit the website.

Publication date: September 24, 2015