Singles in Church

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Group of friends at a restaurant with all people on the table occupied with cellphones

Someone asked me a question the other day and I had to really pause before I responded

Are churches doing enough for the singles in the congregation?

Unfortunately when I had a chance to think about it, I had to come back with a resounding NO and this is just based on my experience; others might have different experiences.

How many churches do you know with a thriving Singles Ministry? or perhaps I can leave off the word “thriving” and just say singles ministry?  Whichever way it is spoken the answer is still the same, enough is not being done,

I am not pointing fingers here just asking that we really sit down and think about how we deal with this group of people who make up the biggest numbers in many churches.  Singles come in many packages:

  1. Never married
  2. Singles with kids
  3. Divorced
  4. Professionals
  5. Widow/Widower
  6. Senior Citizens

Each of these groups come with a different set of needs.  So should we lump all singles together – just because they are single or should we tailor programs based on the group that best describes these persons?  I understand that some of these overlap so of course we would have to include based on the group that is best suited.

Should there even be a specific group for singles?  is this really necessary? Are we making a mountain out of a mole hill?

Your thoughts please!


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26 Responses

  1. trotter387 says:

    The Church isn’t about singles or couples it is focused on our relationship with God, it is our place of worship, reverence and safety.
    When we start to confuse the role and let it become the social focus as well we miss the point. The does say “marry only in the Lord” so it is helping all to appreciate the importance of sharing the faith with our spouse, however it doesn’t say make special provision.
    Let us settle on the standard that those who attend and are absorbed in worship can find the peace they desire and by recognizing Gods standards can set personal benchmarks that aid their search for a life partner.
    Honest worship and keep the social, social.

  2. Jonathan Key says:

    There’s a reason so many “singles” are not in church. It’s just in the last few years that I think churches are beginning to catch on that people are getting married in life. Also, divorce while tragic is the reality for nearly half of Americans today. Programs like Divorce Care and Celebrate Recovery are so needed to help people heal from their hurts, habits, and hangups. This is a great post!

  3. My husband and I met in the singles group and yes, I know the girls at my new church (who doesn’t have a singles group) wishes there was one! I think it’s a great idea!

  4. Marissa says:

    This is a tough issue, you want a healthy church community, but you also don’t want a church that has to provide all the “studies” to help the members grow – we need to be teaching members to step and form their own groups to study, mentor in, serve with…etc.

    Our church does have some great programs for all ages and stages of singles, and it is amazing what they accomplish for the community and our church. Just as often though we mix everyone up.

    Good thing to think about though.
    Marissa

  5. This is definitely something to pause and think about. Each group has different needs to be met, and our walking different journeys.
    Cathy

  6. kristi says:

    I agree that most congregations don’t have thriving single ministries but as of late I’m leaning more towards the idea of not segregating off groups so much. I love the idea of being an interconnected body that ebbs and flows with all members, using each of their talents and places in life to reach out to others as a whole. I am in no way opposed to smaller groups within that body, but seem to find that when we start by separating into smaller groups sometimes it becomes more cliquish and harder to bring them all together.

    I was a part of a single group for a while and it was great. It was great to have friends in the same stage in life but we also typically only did things together.

  7. I think some churches do neglect the singles, but then there are others that have a thriving singles ministry. There’s not such thing as the perfect church, and some will be strong in one area and weak in another.

    • I agree that there is no perfect church anywhere Melanie. However this is too widespread. I don’t think many leaders understand the struggles that singles face because many are not single for long. The fact is there are many categories of singles in the church (not just the young adult who is waiting to be married). We need to take a more proactive stance towards this.

  8. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in a very small church, and have always attended small churches, but why the insistence on everyone being grouped and isolated by marital status or age or children or … whatever? The churches that I have enjoyed most are the ones where everything is multi-generational.

    • For me it is all about balance and what I have been seeing is a lack of support in many churches for people who are not married. Yes the church needs to be multi-generational but we have to assist persons in every group who have needs

  9. Andrea says:

    God makes all of us unique – and the Singles Ministry can’t be just ONE – different ages, different life situations

  10. Anna - Southern Breeze Collections says:

    This is such a good point. I actually work in a church part-time as a contractor and I completely agree. Singles ministries are just too broad to really reach all the people in that ministry because it spans such a large gap of generations and stages in people’s lives. I like your idea of maybe multiple singles ministries that cater to maybe life stages as well. 🙂 Great read!

  11. Susannah says:

    I don’t think churches do a good job with singles! Both my brothers got married when they were older and they basically had to participate in the college group until then. A 28 year old doesn’t belong in the college group even if he is single. Once they got married it seemed as though they “graduated” into real adult ministries.

  12. I think every group has its own needs, but that doesn’t mean isolate them either. 🙂

  13. Totally agree in my (limited) experience, most churches have no provision for singles, whereas many cater well for families, older folks, children, tots, teens etc. The problems are, as you state, that singles are a diverse group with diverse needs, and that it can be very tricky having a singles ministry that does not feel like a dating shop! Nevertheless, that does not mean that we should simply ignore this often lonely group of folks. Church is supposed to BE family, not just BE FOR families.
    BWT thanks for following The Occasional Twack’ I hope you enjoy stepping with me on my journey xx