WHY START A SINGLE ADULT MINISTRY?
New options for young people in early adulthood, the epidemic rise in divorce, and the tragedies of widowhood have not only changed the “face” of our congregations but have placed literally millions of single adults at our church doorsteps. The broadest description of single adults includes those who are 18 years and older, out of high school, and not married at this time. The possibility of responding alone to the call of God must be reckoned with and accepted. After the loss of a companion, those who were once so certain of God’s direction must seek and obtain new guidance and reassurance. A healthy relationship with God must be maintained during and after the trauma of divorce. These and other struggles confront the Christian single adult amid pressures from secular society and its media. Often the battle becomes overwhelming and wrong decisions are made–some which can be corrected only with added turmoil, if at all.
The single adult must deal not only with secular society and its demands and attitudes; unfortunately, the Church has imposed pressures of its own. Many single adults have not found the total acceptance desired from the Church. “Matchmakers” abound along with the underlying notion that singleness is merely an interval to be endured until a spouse is found.
We do not mean in any way to imply that singleness is the ideal lifestyle. God’s ideal lifestyle for all humanity is one in which He
reigns supreme; a flexible, versatile individual who does all things for His glory and His pleasure. This individual adapts himself to whatever state wherein he is found and remains so contentedly….until God institutes change.
There are many single adults who do not wrestle with their singleness.Strong feelings of self-worth, peers with healthy outlooks have undergirded lives and self-images. These are the single adults who have an impact on their worlds; these are the single adults who bring maturity into any relationship and at any level of intimacy.
Entire apartment communities specifically designed for single adults operate in many metropolitan areas. The abundance of day-care centers now enables single parents to better care for their children while pursuing a livelihood. In most large cities, one has only to read the local newspaper to find numerous services which bring single adults together not only for romantic involvements but for friendship and fellowship.
The Bible does not contain a separate set of guidelines for single adults. We do, however, have unique needs and the day-to-day problems we tackle are often far-removed from those of married couples. Isolation from the other members of the Body is the last thing we want. If the Church is ever to reach into the masses of single adults outside the Body and reinforce the position of single Christians, there must exist in our congregations a place of refuge from societal moors and a fountain of unconditional love and understanding.
How many single adults are presently members of your congregation?Are there any faces you thought were there but you find have removed themselves in the past year? If the number of single adult members has decreased, we must ask ourselves if these were drawn away into the “swinging single” net; are any involved in unhappy, potentially dangerous relationships? If the number of single adults in your congregation has increased, what can be done to reinforce and enhance their Christian lives?
An alarming percentage of American single adults have no church affiliation whatsoever. How can the Church hope to evangelize this segment of our society if no “place” for them is found in the Body? Christian single adults can provide an excellent resource for all members of the congregation. Disciplined lives, responsible attitudes and actions, stability, consistency, contentment—these characteristics are effective as role models for younger members. As you win single adults to Christ, the foundation you have built gives strength and support to these “babes” – they really belong and are loved.
All of us have the need of someone to whom we can look who will understand us as no one else. Some singles find this need fulfilled at singles’ bars, mixers, Parents Without Partners, etc. How wonderful it would be if this need could be fulfilled in our United Pentecostal Churches! The possibility is here…we MUST NOW decide if we will act.
What better way to draw a single adult to Christ. Just tell him the old, old story….Jesus was a single adults!
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Christian Information Network