Singleness and the Church

Joshua Tree National Park
How many friends do you have of a different ethnicity?  Of a different religion?  Of a different marital status?  Have you been to their house for dinner?  Have you invited them to your superbowl party?

I’m passionate about being a part of a multi-ethnic, multi-socio-economic Christian community.   And now I’d like to add to that, multi-marital status.

Let’s start with the Church Singles Group.  I can’t even believe I’m admitting publicly that I’ve been to one.  I won’t tell you the year or the church to protect the innocent bizarre, but let’s just say that one night I thought, “Self, you’re good at making friends and you need to know more single people.  How bad can it be?”

WORSE.  Much worse than you can imagine.  OH MY GOODNESS.  Bible study turned into conversations from toilet training cats to being scared to make phone calls to “naughty praises” because an ex-husband broke up with his girlfriend.  Might I add that the entire time one of the two guys slept and the girl-that-never-talked hoarded food into her pockets from the snack table.

I couldn’t believe my life had come to that.  I made a promise to NEVER go to another church singles event.  But, recently I’ve been thinking–other singles might not have my background with the church or my perspective to laugh it off and keep pursing authentic community.

Here are some insights I’ve gained into the life of a single person at a church:

  • It can be hard to gear up emotionally to go sit alone at church.
  • Teaching pastors are all married.  And they do a lot of preaching to the married with kids crowd.  Which is awesome because my passion in life is building up children and their families.  But every time they add a one-sentence clause about the single people, I cringe for the majority of the church.
  • Most of the cool crowd seem to know each other through the “marrieds only” small groups.  Is the only way to get “in” with the church people to find a spouse?

I pulled up the 2010 Census Data.  Just in case you haven’t seen it.  You know I research this kind of thing.  50.3% married.  6.3% widowed.  10.4% divorced.  2.2% separated. 30.8% never married.

It’s time for us as a church to start intentionally reaching the other 50.7%  And I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be through singles groups.

Who are you going to invite to dinner?

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.  Ephesians 4:16

3 thoughts on “Singleness and the Church

  1. >This is an awesome post and makes total sense. I'm sorry I asked you about the singles group once…after hearing what it's like I fully support your decision never to return again! 🙂

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