SOME HELPFUL HINTS ON STARTING A SINGLE ADULT MINISTRY
1. Talk with your pastor, tell him of what you feel to begin and get his approval, DO NOT PROCEED WITHOUT IT. Should he not approve at this time, accept this and pray. God will impress upon him the need for such a ministry.
2. Make a list of the singles in your congregation (it would be good to hand a copy of your list to your pastor when first approaching him).
3. For your own information (and that of your pastor), review the characteristics of your singles (age, # of men and women, # of never-marrieds, widowed, and divorced, # of single parents, # of those who live alone). This will give you an idea of the main course your meetings should follow.
4. Talk to the Sunday School Superintendent about what you desire to do. At this time, Single Adult Ministry is under the direction of the Sunday School Division and it is important what we work with them. Advise that your pastor approves of this and ask to approach Sunday School teachers of singles in your church (the college-career class teacher, etc.). Get the support of those persons who are in positions to stand behind you and endorse this work. You will be surprised at who shares this desire with you.
5. Talk with your singles–individually. Nothing helps us learn more about the needs of people that to establish open dialogue. Express what is in your heart and ask for their input. If they sense your genuine concern for their emotional, spiritual, and physical welfare, they will tell you what they would like to receive from the Church.
6. Of your singles, there are some who will undoubtedly be more visible in the church because of their dedication to God and positions held. These singles will form the nucleus of your group. After speaking with these particular singles, invite them to your home (an informal buffet or dinner party is a good idea). Tell them what you will discuss (“we’re having a brainstorming session”) and ask them to pray before they come. You will be amazed at the wealth of ideas that are presented to you. At this time, decide on a date and time for your initial group meeting and what type of meeting it will be.
7. Inform your pastor of what has transpired to date; he will be excited about the possibilities at hand. Clear the date for your first
meeting, and ask you pastor to attend. Invite him to address the group and express his support.
8. Give your first meeting lots of publicity; enthusiasm is contagious. I feel it is best that people from the home church be used in this initial meeting; these are the people your singles will see regularly and call on frequently. This helps to reinforce the fact that those closest to your singles are those most interested in them.
9. At the initial meeting, stress that the group will be well-balanced in its activities. We want to cultivate well-rounded individuals. Also mention that while many activities will be for all singles, some will be geared to particular facets of the group (your senior singles – 60 yrs. and older–are not likely to want to go along for 8 hrs. of horseback riding). Mention some of the subjects you will address in future meetings: improved communication, successful single parenting, establishing healthy relationships, etc.
10. Let your singles know that you are open to suggestions; NOTHING about single adult ministry has been chiseled in stone. This is a relatively new field of labor and EVERYONE is still learning. What works for one group will not work for another.
Your group may want to institute Sunday School classes for each age level of single adulthood; if they do not, don’t be discouraged. If the majority of your singles are Sunday School teachers, it will not be wise to deplete the staff in order to populate a new class.
11. Activities should be planned approximately 3 months in advance; singles are busy and need adequate notice to arrange work schedules, baby sitters, finances. Be considerate of them (after all, you’re doing this for them) and plan ahead.
NOTE: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
12. Pray diligently for God’s guidance and assistance. He will direct you to others within your church and churches nearby who can minister to your singles occasionally. Vast resources are at your fingertips!
13. Reach into your community. This is a ministry valid, God-endorsed ministry (read the 6th chapter of the Book of Acts)–and
singles can minister to other singles in unique ways. Some ideas which have been effective are:
A. Outdoor activities where your singles can invite friends/relatives who are single. Single parents can also bring their children to some activities.
B. Special parties (covered dish dinners work well–everyone contributes). Your singles can bring one guest each.
C. Special services for singles; a one-night service can be arranged and announced free-of-charge on many radio stations and in religious columns of your newspapers.
14. Read everything you can about singles. More and more material is being made available through the Pentecostal Publishing House, Word Aflame Bookstores, and other Christian bookstores. Your local library should have a number of books on this subject.
15. Visit other churches with singles’ groups–there’s bound to be a Baptist, Assembly of God, or Methodist church in your city with a singles’ group. Though you may not care to adopt their ideas and methods, you will gain valuable information and…..contacts. Establish a rapport with the leaders, if possible, and invite them to some of your functions. God will move through these efforts.
Single adult ministry takes work—but you will witness the hand of God moving and this will bring its own special reward.
If we can help you further, please contact:
Single Adult Ministry
First Pentecostal Church
122 North Dorgenois Street
New Orleans, LA 70119
Rev. John R. Cupit, Pastor Ruth Ann Kerr, Group Leader
“THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR AND HIS WIFE IN SINGLE ADULT MINISTRY”
1. A Sounding Board–New ideas, long-term goals are discussed with the pastor and his wife. Both opinions are important–and her negative answer is just as valid as his. Unless both agree, we don’t do it!
2. Counselors–No in-depth counseling is done by the Single Adult Ministry unless the pastor specifically instructs us to do so. All
requests for such counseling are immediately referred to the pastor and/or his wife. People will tend to give the “whole story” to a pastor more so than to a lay leader in the church. And usually, the pastor knows more about the individual than even their closest friends in the church. He knows where that person “came from”, some of their secret struggles. One cannot adequately counsel without all the facts. Diversion from this way always creates problems–for everyone!
3. Information Resources–The pastor and his wife will usually have a more extensive library than a lay person and will always get excited when a department leader asks for books to increase his knowledge.
The pastor is a clearing house of sorts for information about potential special guests and also for business contacts of the Church
when goods or services are required.
4. The Bosses–Whatever success or failure is experienced within the Single Adult Ministry, it is a reflection on the pastor. This is why it is mandatory that he be made aware (continually aware) of all that is going on. Whether it be by phone, in person, or brief memo (my favorite!), the pastor should be made aware of the workings of this ministry. This means even the problem areas!! He and his wife should also be invited and welcomed at EVERY function from the most mundane meeting to the most inspiring retreat.
What I am saying, in general, is that the singles’ leader does not, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, act independently of the pastor’s knowledge, teaching, or approval. He and his wife oversee the entire church and its activities, not only services in the sanctuary.
Singles’ leaders are to be loyal and promote the fine qualities of the pastor and his family. The day this does not exist is the day your singles’ group will begin to deteriorate. You’ll lose them.
Jeremiah 3:15 records it well:
“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
If my pastor preaches truth and lives it, then I know God has given him to us from His very own heart. And the pastor shall feed me with knowledge and understanding. As he hears from God, I hear from God. And the people I lead will do likewise.
January 8, 1985
Ruth Ann Kerr
WHO MAKES THE BEST LEADER?
Most single adult groups I know of are led by those who initially felt the need for such an endeavor. And, basically, that’s how it is in the Church. If you go to your pastor with a good idea and ask him to consider it, 9 times out of 10 he’ll say, “That sounds great! Why don’t you get it going?”
Just like any other ministry of the church, the more the leader is able to relate to those he wishes to reach, the more effective the
program will be. But there ARE exceptions to this.
1. Spiritually mature Christian
2. Loyal to pastor and pastor’s wife
3. Obedient to church leadership
4. Stable, responsible personal life.
5. Educable–willing and able to learn more.
6. Possessed by a burden for Single Adult Ministry.
I placed “single” at the bottom of the list because it really is the least important qualification. Usually, a single adult will be able to
build rapport with another single more quickly than a married person can. But it really isn’t necessary to be single to be a good singles’ leader.
If the first 5 requirements are met, God will take care of the establishment of rapport and the sense of camaraderie. The burden will shine through and this is what touches people.
But….even if a burden does not manifest itself initially, a person obedient to God and his pastor will be sensitive to the position and seek God for guidance and inspiration.
A good leader is someone you know who is dependable, is not easily influenced by words or circumstances, one who is moved with compassion at the thought of millions, thousands, hundreds, scores, INDIVIDUALS who are dying lost. THIS PERSON will be the best leader–married or single. But if you have a single who fits this description, by all means, USE HIM!
HOW TO KEEP ENTHUSIASM GOING
If there’s anything I’ve learned in 5 years of work in Single Adult Ministry, it is that one must “ride with the tide and go with the
You’ve all heard of the summer slump in Sunday School. Well…..we have Valentine’s Day slump, June Bride slump, and Christmas Holidays slump. These, of course, are all times of the year when couples are in the limelight, thus reminding the single of his state–alone.
And, quite naturally, Satan will intensify his efforts to make the single more despondent during these times. Enter….the Church!!
The only remedy for this is to boost the number of activities (social and spiritual) during these periods. Have a mini-retreat, or seminar dealing with building self-esteem; a canoe trip with a devotion time discussing ways Jesus might have dealt with frustration and loneliness. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are excellent times to teach and practice Christian charity, visiting nursing homes, doing odd jobs for elderly or shut-in saints, or assisting the local YMCA with its “Home for the Holidays” program (meals to elderly and shut-in residents).
Remember, every month will not see a peak attendance with everyone’s’ mood “us” and all acting like eager beavers. But hang in there…don’t stop. Sometimes the results of this ministry can be defined only in abstract terms. Results DO come, though, lives are transformed, people do receive the Holy Ghost, and the group will grow.
PASTOR APPROVAL FORM
To take place at __________________________________________________
Date: ______________________________ Time: ______________________
Need church bus? _______________ Need church vans? _______________
Cost involved _____________________________________________________
SUBMITTED BY: _____________________________________________________
APPROVED ________________________ DISAPPROVED ____________________
Date ________________ Signature ______________________
Pastoral Comments ________________________________________________
SINGLE ADULT INFORMATION SHEET DATE: _______________
NAME (Please Print): ________________________________________________
Street Address City, State Zip Code
PHONE #: _________________ AGE: _______________ BIRTHDATE: __________
SEX: ____________ OCCUPATION: ______________________________________
CIRCLE ONE: Never-Married Separated Widowed Divorced
DEPENDENTS: NAME AGE BIRTHDATE
CHURCH AFFILIATION: _________________________________________________
HAVE YOU RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST & BEEN BAPTIZED IN JESUS’ NAME? _____
CLOSEST FRIEND IN THE 1ST CHURCH OR THE A.O.C.: ______________________
RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES: (Circle all you now enjoy and those you want to learn)
Arts and Crafts Gardening Sightseeing
Sports Hiking Skating
Camping Photography Bowling
Canoeing Needlework/Sewing Table Games/Puzzles
Horseback Riding Outings Travel
Films Plays/Skits Parties
Music (Group Singing/ Dining Out ___________________
Orchestra) _________________ ___________________
MINISTRY: (Circle all in which you now participate or would like to)
Altar Worker Intercessory Prayer Sunday School Staff
Bible Study (Student/Teacher Prayer for the Sick Scouting
Bus Ministry Hospital Visitation Music (Choir/Orch.)
Children’s Church Shut-In Visitation Nursery Worker
Campus Ministry Men’s Ministry Hostess/Usher
Care for the Needy Women’s Ministry Outreach
Counseling Singles’ Ministry Spirit of Freedom
Deaf Ministry Youth Ministry ___________________
YOUR PRESENT SKILLS: (circle those that apply)
General Office Help Arts & Crafts _________________
Typing Decorating _________________
Cooking Carpentry _________________
Fund-Raising Gardening _________________
Sewing Basic Bookkeeping
Writing (Poetry/Prose Music (Singing/Playing)
If the Lord should tarry another 5 years, what would you like to be doing with you life?
ALPHA MEMBER INFORMATION
CITY STATE ZIP CODE
PHONE _____________________________________ BIRTHDAY _____/_____/____
STATUS: Divorced Widowed Never Married
(PLEASE CIRCLE )
DEPENDENTS: NAME M/F BIRTHDAY
PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT __________________________________________________
WORK PHONE ___________________________________________________________
Hobbies & Interests __________________________________________________
Group activities you enjoy: (PLEASE CIRCLE)
cookouts – canoeing – camping – softball
volleyball – horseback riding – films
theme parties – covered dish gatherings
List others __________________________________________________________
Comments about ALPHA _________________________________________________
(The original source and/or publisher of the above material is
Christian Information Network