In context of such phrases as “Family Ministries”, where do singles fit in? And not just those who aren’t married, but also those who are divorced, widowed, or “spiritually single” (the only one in their family who is open to Christ). Randy Stinson brought some good words for those of us married with children and ministering to people from different home situations.
– No one comes to church without their family. We have all been adopted in Christ. Find ways to call people to relate as Mother/Father (as elders of children), or Brother/Sister (of each other), or Daughter/Son (of God). No one shows up and finds themselves an island….or shouldn’t at least. Ministry to single people often comes in relating to them not as “single”, but as a family member.
A good point was made that all of this “D6” talk was not about programs, but about a climate change.
We are called to help single (all of the above types) people anticipate what might be coming next as a son/daughter of Christ. What is likely? Marriage, kids, career, bringing justice, restoration, healing, relating, joining with God in making all things new. To create a “connectional climate” in our congregations, where relationships are being built.
Someone asked a question during the Q/A time, “What about a single who says they might change churches to find someone to date, because selection is limited here?”
There came the reminder that church services are not a dating arena, and definitely weren’t historically either, with men and women always being separated in worship areas. Encourage extra-curricular activities, church events, mission trips, possibly even partnering with another church, and don’t discourage them from joining a “single’s” group from elsewhere. Obviously, many times…they won’t ask. 🙂
Stinson closed lamenting the current “Generation Me” which he said included people in their mid to late 20’s (me). That this is a generation all about themselves, and have that mindset “What’s in it for me?” when attending a worship service. I don’t think it’s limited to my generation, but I would agree with his general point there. But pointing it out isn’t helpful, unless we respond somehow to move those we love from a self-serving experience of God, to an “other”-oriented approach…as seen throughout scripture.