Meeting A Need Part Two
There is a definite need in the body of Christ for effectively ministering to the growing number of singles. Let's see how best to imitate the Master as we strive to meet this need. There are five key elements that we can incorporate into our daily planning. They are prayer, love, edification, service and evangelism.
Let's take a closer look.....
Jesus prayed before preaching, before making major decisions, after healing. He always had a direct connection to the Source of power. We need to make prayer a priority in our singles ministry. Prayer is the only thing that can infuse our human efforts with God's power! Prayer needs to be a part of every planning meeting, event, meal, and Bible study. Pray and then listen. Scripture shows us that prayer was a priority in the ministry of Jesus. It needs to be the foundation of our singles ministry.
Jesus consistently demonstrated the transforming power of love. Rick Warren says, "Because God is love, the most important lesson he wants you to learn on earth is how to love. It is in loving that we are most like him." And yes, singles need to feel loved. I'm not talking about a romantic love, but a love that lets singles know that they are accepted and valued for who they are. Loving people is always a challenge because, let's face it, there are some people out there who are downright unlovable. We need to see the singles who come through the door with the eyes of Jesus.
Jesus was a teacher. People were amazed and astonished at his teaching.Our singles ministries need to provide opportunities for good solid Biblical teaching. After all, we're all works in progress. God isn't finished with any of us yet. God uses circumstances to teach us and transform us into His image. He uses our loneliness, pain, disappointments, joys and every experience in the transformation process. We can provide an environment where broken hearts can be mended and singles can see for themselves that God does use all things for the good of those who love Him! Singles can get so focused on finding Mr. or Mrs. Right that they forget that God wants them to grow and become the right person and leave the task of finding the right person to Him. If life is a test and the passing grade is to be transformed into the image of Christ, then teaching needs to be an integral part of our Singles Ministry.
The ministry of Jesus was a ministry of service and each of us are uniquely gifted to serve God. David Jeremiah puts it this way, "The people who are lonely as single people are the people who are worrying about what isn't happeing to them instead of what they should be doing to minister to others. Something dynamic happens when we recognize that God has allowed us to be in the situation we're in for a reason. Then we just look around and say, 'I'm going to maximize the advantages and find out how I can use my life and just offer it up as a sacrifice to God in serving other people'. The people who do that are not lonely! Oh, that doesn't mean they don't want to get married, but they don't have the loneliness that plagues some single people." Each one of us was created to serve God and serve one another. We need to help singles find out what that "special assignment" is and then help them get plugged in.
And finally, Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. It was His mission and it needs to be our mission as well. Jesus didn't just sit in the temple and preach the Good News. He met people where they were at. He went to their homes and to their wells. He met them in their broken places, in their places of deep need. Often, they weren't even aware of the need. They were looking for something else. I found myself searching for Mr. Right nine years ago. There was a hole in my heart that needed to be filled. I thought it was a man-sized hole, but Jesus showed me that it was a God-sized hole. He used a singles ministry and people who had a heart like Himself to fulfill His mission and to fill that hole to overflowing!
We were created in the image of our Creator and His very nature is relational - the Trinity is a picture of perfect relationship. A Singles Ministry is one way to meet this need for relationship for singles. The need is there, it's real and following the Master is a very good place to start.
For other ideas about "Launching a Singles Ministry" click here.