When it comes to singles' ministries, what do the men and women involved really want from the church?
Several Missouri singles offered some responses:
”¢ Mostly the programming in churches, and rightly so, is geared toward families. At times, however, being single makes you stick out like a sore thumb. I think that happens more in smaller congregations. I think singles especially need support during holidays. Effort needs to be made to include/adopt them into the family activities. — Becky
”¢ Get some balanced singles in key positions of leadership in the church that would have access to the pastor and staff in order to become a spokesperson for the values, culture and needs of singles.
Build the singles ministry on character development, not on activities. It won't be as quick of a numbers builder, but it will establish a healthy base on which the ministry will grow as the singles become balanced in their lives. — Stephen
”¢ I really don't believe the singles should be separated from the other adults in the church. I think the other ministries should be expanded to include the singles. I can see the rationale behind having classes for each school grade or division. I think after college and career, all adults should have common opportunities, classes, ministries, etc. I believe this would be a more realistic approach that mimics the real world.
This doesn't mean there can't be divorce recovery groups, newlywed classes, senior saints, etc. There just needs to be other groups, classes and ministries that are inclusive to all stages of life. — Janie
”¢ Churches need to recognize that approximately half the population is single. They need to tailor their ministries towards meeting the needs of single people. They need to ensure that the vision that they have for their church includes singles — as much as it does married people. — Kent
”¢ As a growing population across America, singles are looking to churches for places to grow spiritually as adults and as places to develop friendships. Churches have a divine moment both to minister to singles and engage them in overall church ministries. Churches can show they care about singles by offering small groups for singles, conferences aimed at issues unique to singles and social activities. — Stacey
”¢ Make me feel that it is OK and totally acceptable to be single, but don't feel sorry for me. God is using me as a single just as much as if I were married. — Penny
”¢ I really think there needs to be more of an effort to meet the needs of single women — work around the house and minor car repairs. A man at church works on women's houses. I once asked him to help with my garage and he said, "Well, this ministry is for single moms."
I reminded him not all single women are moms. He ended up roofing it and I think changed his way of thinking. — Mary Ann
”¢ Of course, all singles are different by situation and circumstance. Encourage families to adopt or regularly include a single. Offer to pray with a single regularly. Ideally have a pastor for singles ministry. Ask a single to worship with you (sit together, even with a family). — Diana (02-21-06)
(Check out other stories about singles ministry in the print edition of the Feb. 23 Word&Way.)