A New Question for Singles
09.16.09 | | Comments
I recently read an email article from Crosswalk Singles. It was a part of their He Said/She Said forum. A question was sent in and then two answers were given. One from a male perspective and the other from a female. The topic - how can the church minister to singles? As the leader of the SALSA (Salt & Light Single Adults) ministry, I often ask a similar question. How can SALSA do better meet the needs of single adults?
In this article, the person asked the question, "Why does it seem most churches focus so much on married couples?" and then made this statement, "Sometimes I think if you're not married, you really do not fit in. This makes me think that is why so many single people go to bars to find love. It is hard being a Christian single; you're lonely but where are the singles there ... not in church because the church seems to just cater to the married couples." Then ended with this question, "So how can the churches reach out to everyone, not just married couples?"
Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades, was the "he" who responded. He broke his answer down into two parts:
"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.
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."
Then he summarized by saying this, "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."
Then Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com's Senior Entertainment Editor, responded: "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?'" She concludes with this statement, "There have been many, many times when I have felt like no one was helping me or I had been given the short end of the relationship stick or that 'the world was against me' or that married people just don't understand. Believe me. And then an opportunity was presented for me to reach out and do something for someone else. First, I grumbled internally and wrestled with God. And then finally, I gave up and submitted and did what God was asking of me. And every time--every time--I was richly blessed. I don't know how God does that, but he does."
There's no doubt that singles need a place to belong. God created us with a need for relationships. As a single adult, that need began to be filled when I stepped out of my comfort zone. I stepped out and went to my first SALSA Conference in January of 2000 where I began my personal relationship with another single adult, Jesus Christ. Since then, I've stepped out of that comfort zone many times including taking the leap to a career in full-time ministry where I oversee Family Life's SALSA Ministry.
As Cliff states, WE are the church. If you're single, maybe it's time to ask yourself a new question. Maybe it's time to step out of your comfort zone.
What do you think?