by Jane C. Myers
I am a single adult and I believe that the Church is not meeting single adult needs. It is failing to meet people where they are and ministering to them there. It is true that we want to keep marriages together and most people that go to any church are married. But some of the reasons some singles don’t go to church at all is because they have not received the care and love that a church body should give. They find they can receive more friendships from people at work or at secular things, like even a bar. Does the Church really want to be known that they can’t be as friendly as secular people?
I have been to several different churches and right now am involved with one church quite a bit and have seen it in all but one of the churches, the lack of ministering to singles. There is no ministering to the single’s needs per se. If someone in church finds out I am single, they immediately start talking about their husband or wife or the wife comes over or the husband moves away… We need love and acceptance as we are. A single adult needs to have time with other adults, not just their children.
We have had a single’s group at my church but at first it was all about how to avoid sin, then it brought married people into the group. We have small groups during the week which has singles and marrieds in them and that’s fine, but why mess up the singles’ group with married people? Singles need to have fellowship with other singles because they understand better living as the only adult in their house, having to raise their children without the other spouse, having to “bring home the bacon and fry it up too.” Women need help in fixing things around the house and sometimes even more important, their cars. Men need to see some things from a woman’s point of view. Women need the advice and support of other women and men need the same from their gender as to how to deal with being single in a married world. A singles group is basically a support group as well as a place to have fun together.
It is good for singles to reach out to others but sometimes people need healing within themselves first. Some singles are really hurting inside and need people that understand how they feel and can minister Jesus’ love to them. As single we can feel very lonely at times and need just a phone call or a “come go with me to such and such…” or even, heaven forbid, “Would you like to come over for dinner?” We don’t need to be treated as second class Christians.
I have written a book to encourage single people that God is still there even when you can’t feel or see Him,(The Light In Our Darkness) and have written several articles or blogs or whatever you want to call them, to share encouragement and have let the head of the various single’s group -first one, then another, know about them that I could even share with the group and I have gotten nowhere. There are articles that appear every now and then in Christian magazines, but it doesn’t seem that the needs are being addressed at the local levels.
Now, here is an Update: I still think that the church, in general, is not meeting the needs of single adults, but I have gotten connected with another church that does have a wonderful singles’ group. They have a meeting on Monday with the singles’ pastor who shares different truths that are of concern to singles. Then, we get together as a group and meet for dinner on Fridays, just to be together and fellowship. Also, some of us go to a member’s house, who couldn’t walk for a couple months due to an accident, and watch movies. A few of us call and check up on some we haven’t seen in a while. We do other things too, these are just some examples. This is the church in action…sharing love and care with each other and praying for each other. Other churches should be following this example.