Set Apart and Single

Are you aware that 50.5% of the current population in America is single? Are you also aware that only 4% of churches nationwide have any type of singles ministry?

Back in the years 1996-1999 (during my six year single-again period of life) I published a small newsletter entitled Set Apart and Single (hence the name of this post) in which was discussed the challenges and joys of single life and singles ministry. During that time I also had the privilege to attend and participate in singles retreats and seminars. Being single was new to me then and many, many folks encouraged me through these venues.

But I learned how very often singles ministry is neglected or ignored. I learned what the fore mentioned numbers indicate- not many churches are concerned with singles. Even as the percentage of singles grow in our culture most churches still covet the family and focus their ministries around them.

Back then I asked why. I still am asking why. And my answers keep coming back to a lack of education of church leaders and a lack of comprehensive cooperation among the singles themselves.

Let’s face facts- church leaders are all overwhelmingly married and have been for years. Not only do they usually not see a need for singles ministry- they cannot even relate. It does not make them bad guys- just guys needed to be educated on shifting cultural demographics and new ministry opportunities. That is one challenge.

Another challenge is among the singles themselves. Singles ministry by definition is diverse. How can a ministry that includes college students, widows and widowers, young single professionals, divorced people of all ages with or without children- work? Added to this is the fact- from my experience anyway- that some singles themselves are not even interested in becoming involved.  One very faithful Christian single even told me when I asked if she was involved with her local singles group, “I am not like them.”.

So from practically every angle singles ministry is not easy.

But it is worth it.

I have seen singles ministry work well. My wife was part of a large singles ministry at Pleasant Valley Church of Christ in Little Rock, Arkansas. She thrived in this ministry.

So what is the secret?

To me it is all about finding folks with a passion for this type of ministry. Sure, leadership must wake up to this incredible need and get on board, but it will be the commitment of the singles themselves that will drive this ministry. If the single Christians in a local church do not seem all that interested in a singles ministry then it will not happen.

Certainly the need of single moms differ from college singles.  Widows and single young professionals do not have a lot in common. But if each group can look outside themselves to serve others- then a wonderful foundation of ministry will be laid and only God knows where that might go.

I firmly believe that single Christians have so very much to offer and give. I have seen examples of this first hand. It is past time that the church recognized their contributions and create an atmosphere in which singles ministry can flourish.

What are your ideas on this topic? Share your wisdom with us!

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45 Responses to Set Apart and Single

  1. That Girl says:

    I choose not to participate in a singles ministry. I don’t want to be defined by my marital status. I prefer to associate myself with people and groups that have more than marital status in common.

    That’s just me.

  2. preacherman says:

    Danny,
    Wonderful post brother.
    Keep up the great blogging.
    In Him,
    Kinney Mabry

  3. dannydodd says:

    Teri, I have heard the exact same sentiment from other folks- and I respect that. Everyone gravitates toward those they are most comfortable around.

    One thing I discovered during my time associated with singles ministry is how some singles could not understand this. They thought every single should first and foremost be dedicated to singles ministry. But it just doesn’t work that way.

  4. J D says:

    Great post, Dan. I think maybe one approach is not to identify so much a “singles ministry” as to identify groups of people based around needs … this idea needs more development even in my own mind … but I do think “single parents” … “divorce aftercare” … “learning to live on your own” … I don’t know… but all of those sound better to me than “singles ministry”. For one reason, the associated idea that peole who attend singles events may consider others or themselves ‘fair game’ for people seeking marital partners. Not every single person desires to be married…or to think of themselves in a lineup. It’s a difficult ministry … but singles, as you say, have so much to offer the Kingdom … we should make sure they have every opportunity they desire … not just because they are single, but because they are available to God.

  5. dannydodd says:

    I think you have tapped into some of the hesitancy from single Christians to jump in and run with singles ministry, JD. I have heard some singles express similar fears.

    Actually- the topic of this post was requested by a good friend, Jim Miller, who has worked in singles ministry for years. He is seeking the exact kind of input you are giving- to try to get a better handle on how to approach singles ministry in the 21st century and involve more single Christians.

    I have always felt that just “singles” does not get it- as far as some all-encompassing tag for a ministry.

    And I completely beleive that single Christians have so much to offer the kingdom. The point of this post- and Jim’s struggle- is trying to discover the best way to encourage minstry- by whatever tag- by singles.

  6. J D says:

    Maybe the best approach to singles ministry is … not to be a singles ministry.

  7. TLC says:

    I have just about given up on the idea that I will meet a single, Christian man in his 40s at church. I’ve been to three churches in 4 1/2 years, both large and small. And single men just don’t exist! It seems to me that the church is reserved for those who meet the 3 Ws — white, wealthy and wedded. Well, at least I’m white. . . but I’m also divorced, and that keeps me on the outside looking in. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am. When I became a Christian, I thought I would build relationships with all kinds of people by going to church and getting involved. But most people in the church don’t want to look outisde their well-established and comfortable circles to let in someone new. How sad.

  8. dannydodd says:

    Sorry that you have had those experiences TLC. It is not that way everywhere- it just seems that way.

    I was a single man during my late 30s and I felt like you some of that time. I did make an effort to go to Christian single gatherings and did meet some very nice Christian women through them. Sure there were some with a “meat market” mentality at these events- “on the make” so to speak, but I believe you get out of those what you go seeking- and for me I was seeking help, fellowship, and friends- and I found them.I would hope you could find this as well.

    I wonder what my buddy Jim would say to JD’s purposed conclusion?

  9. Jim says:

    we in the C of C have already accomplished JD’s proposal. James 2:1-5 forbids discrimination but 96% of our churches do not minister to singles…..and frequently, singles minstry is really college and young professionals.

  10. dannydodd says:

    So now we know what Jim thinks! 🙂

    BTW Jim, thanks for finally posting.

  11. Jim Sexton says:

    Perhaps one of the problems here lies in the group in question (see, I am afraid to label them, thanks everyone!).

    When I was a teen, we had no viable youth group and I complained about it. The answer I got was eye-opening… “Go and get one started.” my dad said. He wanted ME to do the WORK of making the thing happen. Well, I did and it opened up an entirely new understanding of why these kinds of things happen or don’t happen.

    Is there no good working (fill in the blank) ministry group in your congregation? Maybe it is because nobody in that group has taken the initiative to get something going. Why sit around and complain that there is no (you’re getting the hang of this aren’t you?) ministry if you aren’t willing to take the lead and make it happen YOURSELF?

    Make it happen. That is the answer. YOU make it happen. Nobody knows what your particular group needs like you do! Why expect that ‘the church’ knows what you need? As was mentioned, the leadership is filled with married people who have little or no understanding/remembrance of the void in your life. Sit down, make a few phone calls, bring people together, start some momentum, and watch it go!

    … or sit on your hands, wait for someone else to do it, and watch nothing happen…

    Jimbo

  12. J D says:

    I don’t regard my comment as discrimination. There are many age groups / life circumstance groups in the church that do not have a ministry just for them…rather that all people can join in and work together in a variety of Kingdom works without having to wear a tag. That’s all I was saying.

  13. odgie says:

    I am on the fence on this one. Danny is right that this is a gaping vacuum that needs to be addressed. On the other hand, John makes a good point about defining people by their marital status, which is what happens all too often in the church (especially when a single man goes looking for a full-time ministry).

    Based on my own experiences when I was single and my continued observation, the happiest and most productive single Christians that I know are those who are integrated with the larger group. My wife and I attend a small group that has a diverse make-up: never married, divorced, second marriages, newly married, etc. And our single people seem to be happiest about being part of a family, whether it is the church at large or our small group.

  14. Jim says:

    only a few individuals of any distinct “group” will go out of their way to integrate into another “group”. We like to associate with other like us. Think about …..gator fans don’t go to the Seminole club to watch the game…..or labor associations….AMA-doctors (lawyers don’t join)…..or race/culture…..even today in NYC their is little Italy/chinatown/etc…….we hang with our peers.
    Ten reasons churches should minister to singles:
    10. 48% head of households are single
    9. 40% children in single parent homes (few in church-high dilenquency-drug abuse -pregnancy-suicide)
    8. 26% singles never marry-most are intimate with someone and only 15% attend church
    7.50.5% of the pop. is single
    6. >50% college/young military of our C of C kids will quit attending during this time
    5. 38% of all babies born to unwed mothers
    4. 41% single mothers live below poverty level (we should help)
    3. our widows/widowers need extra attention
    2. 90%!!!!!!!!!! of people quit church after a divorce and few ever attend regularly again and they take their kids with them.
    1. GO IN TO THE WORLD (your world, my world, the whole population) make disciples, baptize, teach etc.

  15. dannydodd says:

    I knew Jim Miller would have more to say about this!

    And I totally agree with Jim Sexton that if you see a need for a certain type of ministry at your church- start it- do it- lead it! That would be a preacher’s dream- to have a congregation full of folks with vision and drive like that.

    And I also see Odgie and JD’s point- so I agree with everyone! 🙂

    How? Well, why couldn’t we have a designated singles ministry in which the challenges of the various groups of singles are addressed; where they could find support and fellowship among other singles- AND- where they would be encouraged to intergrate into the larger body; to spend time to get to know others in meaningful fellowship? I do not know of anyone in singles ministry that would discourage singles from spending time with married folks or anyone else in a congregation.

    We have youth ministries where teens spend time together and find help with challenges unique to them, but we also encourage them to not be isolated from the larger body. We have family ministries specifically designed to help meet the needs of families, but we cetainly do not limit their fellowship to only folks like them in the church. It is the same with men’s ministry, women’s ministry, senoir saints minitry, etc. And I should add- that most folks in these groups enjoy this and see no stigma or problems.

    Why should singles ministry be different? Why does there seem to be some type of stigma involved with this designation which does not exist in other- even gender and maritial status specific- ministries?

  16. That Girl says:

    I’ll jump back in. I may be the only one but I don’t WANT to be “singled” out at church. I have social outlets all through my life. I don’t go to worship to find friends. I go to worship! Most of my friends are there – but that’s an additional blessing.

    When a group of us (middle age women without children in the youth group and no husbands in leadership) were talking about how there seemed to be nothing for us at church… we started stuff. We sat around a table one night and started talking about ministries we’d like to work in and the leader among us, got the ball rolling. We found that there were a lot of people (not just middle age women) looking for the same thing and there are a lot of people involved.

    There is a reason the singles are happy. Leave us alone. 🙂

  17. That Girl says:

    Hey, me again…

    Forgive me, my job evaluation is correct – I DO get curt and defensive! 🙂

    I’m sure there is a need for some single people to have their own place to fit in. Survey your singles and find out if there is a need. But, please – don’t make those of us who choose not to participate feel guilty for not supporting the programs of the congregation.

  18. dannydodd says:

    Thanks for jumping back in Teri. I think your insight is most valuable because I do think you are speaking for many in the church.

    While I still believe that singles ministry is important and will meet some needs of some singles, I also know that there are others like you who have found their place and are very comfortable and happy there. What you and your friends did in kick-starting a ministry is awesome- and as I have said I wish more would do it.

    But more don’t- and this is the reason why I believe that some type of organized singles ministry is important. It may not be for every single but it will be for some. And certainly if a single person chooses not to be involved in it- they should not be made to feel guilty. How counterproductive is this?

    I like your last paragraph of your last post, but we have to think outside of just the needs of those in our congregation. Singles ministry can be an outreach ministry too.

  19. bikegirl says:

    I attend the church I do because it has a singles ministry yet I am no longer involved in the Singles Ministry. I love that group and what they do within other ministries at church but I don’t fit in with them on a day to day basis. Now that group is advertising itself to folks 23-32 years old. That seems appropriate for who is there. But then what do you do with the over 32 year old singles. Where do they go? Where do they fit?

    I agree with what Teri had said in all her posts. I am single but I do not want to be labeled by my marital status. From the singles’ perspective when labeled by my marital status it feels degrating like I am deficient in something. Like there is something wrong and I am missing out on all the joys in life because I am not married. I have family members that mean well but hurt me when all they know to ask is “so you still aren’t married?” I don’t want to get that from the church also. People think it is funny to say things like “they graduated from the singles ministry” refering to a newly married couple. Sure that is cute for the couple but what does it say to all those still single in the singles’ ministry?

    I am very happy single. It was a long hard road to get to that point but I am there and I don’t want anyone to think less of me or my abilities because I haven’t married. I am involved in several ministries at church but none of them have anything to do with me being single.

    I do see a need for some to have a group to call their own because not every one has the tenacity to just join a ministry and show that they belong there just like everyone else and marital status has nothing to do with it. There are those that are travelling that road I went down trying to come to grips with their singleness. There are those that need an outlet and understanding of the unique struggles of single life.

    Having said all that the best advice I know to give is to be patient and don’t give up. Single people will have to test the waters. It may take a while to get something off the ground. Attendance may vary greatly from week to week and event to event. Singles are leary of singles groups or activities because they are afraid of the “meat market” stigma or the labeling of being single. Have other ministries ready to accept them as workers so they have a “job” to do somewhere other than just being in the singles ministry. Let the singles ministry be a launching pad. A place for the singles to connect with one another, learn of service areas where they can work, and let them go.

  20. Brad Adcock says:

    I can see both sides of this issue. If you have singles who need specialized support, you must be prepared to give them whatever you can, just as you would for any other member of the body. But it also means that if you have singles who feel like Teri does, trying to form a ‘singles ministry’ just for the sake of having one is not smart, and it’s a waste of resources that could be used elsewhere.

    No, we should never discriminate, but how is separating everyone into their own little cubbyhole (seminoles over here, gators over there; doctors over here, lawyers over there) not discrimination as well? Why not a group for third base coaches with sideburns? Then we’d need one for baldheaded lefty pitchers.

    This hits on part of my thinking about the recent study that came out about the drop-off in church involvement: the point is not to use this information to justify changing one methodology for another, or adding this ‘ministry’ over that one (I sometimes wonder if that word ‘ministry’ is simply used as another word for ‘program’) – the point is that we are just not meeting the needs of the many people who leave our churches and then never come back. Doing this or that (singles ‘ministry’ or whatever else you want to say is the answer) will never be a substitute for the love that ALL in the body are to show towards one another (and I know that’s the way things SHOULD be, not the way they ARE in many cases). If that’s found in a singles group – great! If not, then it’s time to find out what the needs of our group are, and then work to fulfill those needs.

  21. dannydodd says:

    Welcome bikergirl- now that is a cool nickname! You bring up one of the greatest obstacles- at least in my opinion- in singles ministry- and that is how to effectivily encompass all ages and situations. I do not know the answer to this, honestly.

    And I do know from my own experience that sometimes singles can be made to feel “like something is missing”. I also know too that many married folks would never do this intentionally. It is just that they really cannot relate. Anyway thanks for your input and please don’t limit it to one comment.

    Brad hits at a broader topic about “ministry programs” in general, Some are now decrying this approach to organizing folks in a church and the term “ministry” itself is not as in vogue as it once was. Yes, we can program ourselves to death, but what are the alternatives?

  22. Royce says:

    Unless you have been there later in life than college age, you can’t possibly understand the “fish out of water” feeling you have around other people. Lets get real, the whole world is geared to couples, and rightly so. I will never forget how out of place I felt the first several times I went to worship after my wife died.

    If they are any size at all, almost all churches have single folks of all ages due to being widowed, never married, or divorced. They (even the divorced ones) have particular needs that most of our usual ministries will not meet. Our congregation is very large and we have nothing for singles, except college age groups. Some of those middle aged singles have shared their frustrations with me. They don’t fit in any of the other small groups very well.

    There are plenty of great, very successful singles ministries out there. I suggest searching them out and learning from what they are doing.

    Thanks for the post.

    His peace,
    Royce Ogle

  23. Teresa Jurczak says:

    Being happily married since 22, I must say in some ways it is hard to relate. However, many of my friends are single and fall into the age group over 30. Some are very involved now at Gateway but not in our Single’s Ministry. I have one single friend at work that I invited to church. It turns out that she was raised in the Church but has not been going. She has been looking for a church where she felt she could fit. She has been twice and really enjoys worship. She asked about a Sunday school class in which she would fit in. Luckily we have a women’s bible class with all ages that I think she will fit in with. I will also add for years I was a “Navy Widow” while my husband was on sea duty. I was embraced by all ages in the church but at times I felt awkward like I didn’t fit in. So I guess I can relate on a small scale. I think there is a definite need for a singles’ ministry that reaches beyond the college age. I do think share groups and women’s and men’s ministries can feel a gap.

  24. dannydodd says:

    Royce, once when I was single-again I attended a church Christmas party. They played a game in which husbands and wives split up. Well, me and one other person were the only single people there. We just looked at each other and shrugged. The couples never really thought much about it- they were just doing what came natural and I did not blame them at all. But it does illustrate the fish-out-of-water deal and reveals the need for us to be a little more sensitive to others among us.

    Welcome Teresa! Very glad you posted a comment. You make a terrific point.
    Is it all really about finding a place to fit in- whether that is some type of specific ministry group or through other fellowship opportunities.

    Could it just be that the main thing is that a church has a welcoming atmosphere for all- no matter what their “status” in life may be?

  25. Danny,
    Diana does not yet have her internet set up yet, but her cell phone # is .
    She’s in a duplex while she’s deciding what to do about her house. Needless to say, things have been pretty hectic for our family the past couple of weeks so she’s just now getting settled in, She would appreciate hearing from you I’m sure.
    Tmmie

  26. dannydodd says:

    Thanks Tammie- I got the number!

  27. Jim Sexton says:

    Warning!

    There appears to be a Hacker on your blog-site… all I can tell you for sure is that she goes by the name of Tammie, although it also appears that there is some other setting up to be done!

    It appears that her friend has a cell phone, so that they can begin calling around to invite others in their particular group to… well, you know, that stuff we were talking about.

    People! Get involved with various ministries (is it OK to call them that?) and if there is one that is missing/lacking, jump at the chance to help out and make it work. In our current age of entitlement, so many people just sit and wait to be served, making no effort on their own, and point critical fingers at those who are ‘not doing what needs to be done’, not realizing that they are as much to blame.

    Beware… and good morning!

    Jimbo

  28. And some of us never thought we would be there …

    Seeking Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  29. Teresa says:

    Right now I am teaching a class on Wed. for young moms. (I guess I’m qualified, because I lived through it all!) There are some single moms in this class that seem to have some of the same needs as the singles that have been discussed here. Many of them are working on their last shred of energy by the end of the day.

    One thing I have noticed is that when we are at our neediest moments, sometimes we just don’t have the wherewithal to organize things or make something work ourselves. Sometimes we just need that “balm in Gilead,” and others may be the hands that God uses to soothe the aching souls. I pray we are open to the needs around us and willing to be available to the Spirit’s workings!

  30. me says:

    “Are you also aware that only 4% of churches nationwide have any type of singles ministry?”

    Did I know? Maybe. Did I care? No. Like I need a bunch of stupid busybodies trying to set me up as some sort of way for them to win brownie-points with God. No thanks.

  31. dannydodd says:

    Funny stuff in a meaningful post Jim. Thanks.

    Bobby, I know what you mean.

    Teresa, amen to the “balm in Gilead”. Even Jesus withdrew occasionally.

    And as for “me”- thanks for dropping in and making time to post. But I do not try to win “brownie-points with God.” Jesus took care of that on the cross. It is called grace. Come back and visit again. You are always welcome.

  32. susan johnston says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog. We, the authors of Princess Bubble, have written a fairy tale about our experience as singles. We know that there is only one prince that can bring Happily Ever After!

  33. Jim says:

    matt. 9:36- when he saw the crowds he had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a sheperd…….

    Let’s face it, most people are followers. So, when a single person visits the church, they are looking to be led…to connect….Now, if our members (married and unmarried) don’t reach out to them, they won’t be back.

  34. preacherman says:

    Danny,
    Do we hire single ministers add program like we would in a youth group. Activities such as bowling, dancing, lazer tag, etc.

    Or do we strip down all that we have done in the past and invite them to partice in emerging style worships that is just jeered towards them.

    I am not single I haven’t bee single in 16 years so I don’t know what the best thing for singles in 2008 are and how to best minister to minister to them.

    I do think we need to make them feel an important part of the Church and use them in our worship services.

  35. Evelyn Seabrook says:

    I have two single, professional daughters who would like to meet sensible, responsible, committed Christian men. For one daughter, the time clock may have run out. The time clock running out is approaching the second daughter. The family lineage is ending. That hurts.
    I am widowed. In addition to the statistics quoted, the number one disease and killer of older Americans is loneliness.
    I and my daughters are happy people, sorting out life as it is dealt. However, there are some drawbacks to being single. There are some drawbacks to being a double, triple, and even quadruple minority. One glaring drawback to the issue of being single is that in certain groups, the availability of men is zero. Somehow, I beleive the efforts to evangelize to men in particular are also zero.
    One observation summarizing many of the comments, relates to the unrelateability of marrieds towards singles in 2008 or any year. No one was born married. Everyone was single at one time or another.
    Where, oh where, are the brothers!!! in Christ !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. MikG says:

    I’m not quite sure what say or how to say it, but I would love to share some encouragement with everyone. My background: I was married for 6 years in the 80’s (one child), single and s. parent in the 90’s and early-mid 00s, recently married (July ’06) to a single mom (with a 6 yr old). I’ve been involved in various ministries through the years (prison, singles, teen, bible studies), even while working the 9-5 and as a single parent.

    I have seen God do some awesome, some powerful things throughout my adult life. He continually fills us up to overflowing in countless ways (Rom 5:1-5), with these verses being one of those special ways. These were the words of Paul that got me through the divorce and starting over. LOOK IT UP, READ IT! Meditate on those last two verses. “… hope will not disappoint us…” because God’s love has been poured out into our lives. Put your hope in God and never give up!

    Love God with all your heart as a single (and at every other time in your life). He WILL use you when you ask Him to. Use what life experiences you have had to help others through the same thing you went through. Let God use you wherever you are in life. Focus on Him, the problems will seem even smaller. Yes, God is big enough! never forget that!!

    Being single has its advantages, being married has its advantages. Use whatever situation God has you in TODAY as an opportunity to serve Him. Matthew 11:28-30 talks about Jesus’ yoke being easy, his burden being light. Remember that a yoke is for WORK. His work is easy, because we are never alone doing it. Work in a singles’ ministry, work in any other ministry, just work for our God. He will fill you up with more than we can even comprehend. (like “peace that passes understanding”)

  37. dannydodd says:

    Preach- thanks for your added thoughts on this topic.

    Evelyn, I have heard other sister ask the same questions you are asking. I know it is difficult to find a Christian mate in our culture. There are Christian singles websites and Christian singles conferencs scattered around. These would be some resources for you. Thanks for stopping in and posting.

    Same to you MikG. I really appreciate your post- especially your third paragraph. God has called us- just as we are- to serve him. And in so doing we all can make a huge difference.

    Thanks also to JIm who suggested this thread. Good stuff everyone has shared.

  38. Jim says:

    What can individuals can do without a budget, salary, or position….check out http://www.launchsingles.org ….. The 9th annual LAUNCH Florida Singles Conference is already scheduled for February 2009 in Tallahassee. We have depended on GOD to bless the ministry and it has. Peace!

  39. dannydodd says:

    I will say that Jim and his crew doing in charge of this conference do a great job.

    Jim has led a couple of special singles weekends at Gateway too. He has a heart for this ministry.

  40. TAMARA SEABROOK says:

    I am the daughter of Evelyn Seabrook (prolific blog if I might add) whose biological clock may have expired. Thanks, Ma! 🙂
    I think several good points have been made by my mother and a few others,TLC to name one. Dannydodd, I think your response to my mother’s bolg is lacking. The Christian websites may be an option if you are of a certain ethnicity and age group. I am a professional, educated, 35 +,independent black woman. Have you visited these websites? The pickins are SLIM. I am currently in Germany attending the Wuerzburg Church of Christ. There are NO single men attending this congregation. So, my mother’s point about evangelizing MEN may need to be researced a little closer. Very few men were in attendence when I visited churches in various parts of Florida, Georgia, and New York as well.
    I would like to marry a member of the Church of Christ but if that species is extict, as it seems to be, then I must continue my search elsewhere!

  41. dannydodd says:

    Welcome Tamara. Your input and perspective is needed in this discussion.

    You are right. I have not looked at these sites in a while. Once I did- when I was single in the 1990’s but I was looking as who I was then- a guy in my 30s.

    Then I also attended a few singles conferences and retreats and spoke in a few of them. Some- like those hosted then by Wildwood Camp near Searcy- were well attended. I do not know what is going on there now.

    One of the best such gatherings I attended was in Tulsa, Ok during the annual workshop there. Hundreds of single Christians were there.

    But I was a guy interested in meeting a girl.

    As I think of our church here- you are right Tamara- while we do have a few single, professional men here- the “pickings are slim.”

  42. Greg Fite says:

    I have read this blog with interest today after a friend told me about it. A little back ground on me. I was married for just over 16 1/2 years to a wonderful woman who died from breast cancer in Nov 2005. We have 2 kids, a boy and a girl.

    I never really thought much about the singles while I was married, as much as I hate to admit that. Now that I am single, again, I realize that we all are missing the boat on the singles, what a opportunity we have. BUT, do we want to take it. That is the question. Maybe, the problem is that no one really know how to minister to the singles. We have excellent ministry’s for the youth, the seniors, the Hispanic, etc., or you could have people who would “spend” money on other “needed” minsteries, if as Jim has pointed out that over half of the country is single, aren’t singles one of the most important groups that need Christ today?

    Very few coC’s have a singles minstery in Florida,or for that matter all of the US, maybe, because they may not like what one group does in another coC, or because the church is “too small” , “too poor”, “too something”. Preacherman asked if we need to hire a worker for the singles, I would say YES on his question. Spend the money, not on a younger single minster, but on someone who has experience to deal with to issues of the day. This postion would need continually updated as needed.

  43. Jim says:

    Greg,
    As a layperson, I have worked with single parents (especially) for 10 years. Was one myself. I can say that the younger widowed person has a unique and especially difficult position in the church. Too young for your peers (widowed) and different from your age group. But, we continue to attempt to meet your needs in a “consultant” role or as a counselor. Our web calendar is http://www.launchsingles.org . Tell me what you (and others…also) need me to tell your elders and ministers at workshops and seminars! Jim

  44. Greg says:

    Jim,
    I met you at San Jose last month, but we didn’t get to talk. I had a meeting with the Elders at one of the coC’s at the beach about the single problem and how I was treated out there. As a married person I(we) had no problems, but when I lost Brenda , attiudes changed, and not for the good. They had no idea on what I(we) needed, and still don’t. We talked about the need for a singles minstery in the area.
    I told them that if they couldn’t “afford” a singles minster that they needed to get a small group of the more progressive congreations to share the cost of one. I don’t think that anything will happen.

    I also told them that I would be willing to help get a singles minstery started, but that a FULL time person would be needed, not a part time, and that they couldn’t afford me. (LOL)

  45. Jim says:

    Greg (and others who might want to chat about singles in the church), my e-mail is xybatt@gmail.com and BIG things are happening. Some church leaders are finally hearing when we say half the population is single. hope you will come to Spriritual Growth Workshop in July!!! Jim

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