Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Inviting Singles into the Church’s “Married Community” (1/3)

Understand the Stats on Singles in the Church and Why they Exist:
The truth is most of the church caters to those who are married (with children). The church does not cater to singles; those who have never been married, those who are widowed, divorced, or celibate. There is a huge hole in church ministry, for despite the fact that singles in America (and the American church) now make up 50% of the population there is a lack of community and friendship between these singles and their married counterparts. Look in any church and ask if half of those sixteen or older are single and you have your answer.

How does this happen?

First, many adolescents stop attending church by choice; whether by lack of interest, conflicting activities, or friendships. Additionally, many stop attending church once they get into college either questioning their upbringing or they stop going since they are no longer “required” to attend (they lack a solid personal spiritual foundation). For those who do still attend the difference isn’t truly felt when singles are in college or graduate schools as there are often many opportunities to pursue (and places that provide) community. Sadly, those singles left at ages 22-25 try to attend some church for a while but normally end up dropping out until years later when they are married and have kids, around age 35*.

Understand Those Who are Single:
Perhaps you are single and your friends are in relationships or getting married. Perhaps you are in a relationship and feel scared of moving forward or of ending it. Scared to be alone and scared to fight for what you want and desire most.

Singles live in a world of fear. Fear we cannot speak about because it shows our faults, our vulnerabilities, our weaknesses. The question that begs to be answered is: Why am I still single? And if singles dig deeper the scarier questions: What is wrong with me? Or Is there something wrong with me? Why can't I find someone I connect with? Someone I'm attracted to? Someone who will walk alongside me in life? Someone who will be there when I wake up and when I go to sleep? At first many of us have roommates to help possible feelings of alone-ness or loneliness, but as people move out to get married or pursue careers, we have the relegated options of living with our parents or living alone. We opt for alone. We know no other acceptable way, especially for males.

I felt after publishing the series I wrote a few months ago, "The Truth About: Being Single", that it might be beneficial to say that what I wrote, the feelings and thoughts, do not have to be the end of the story for those of us who are single, or even a part of the story at all. We as the church, as brothers and sisters in Christ, can create a new story, a new Kingdom community, one where we are not bound by class, gender, marital status, or any number of things which tend to separate and divide us.

But to reach past this issue here takes intentionality...
Intentionality on those single and those married.

To be continued…

~ Single Me


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