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The church and the path to marriage

Discussion in 'Full and Part Time Ministry' started by Paidiske, May 5, 2019.

  1. mina

    mina Brown Eyed girl

    +3,351
    Christian
    Married
    No, the church shouldn't help singles to find partners (that would be a little controlling and weird), but they should be welcoming to singles in the body of Christ and help them in their faith. There should not be matchmaking events or social events specifically for matchmaking, but the church should be a place where singles are included and welcomed sincerely. I was a longtime single and my experience was the church either wanted singles completely separate in their own singles ministry never to mix with couples or families unless they could provide child care or I was one of only 2 or 3 singles in church at all because it was an unwelcome environment and singles were not coming. There was no one to meet if you were trying to find someone that shared your faith either romantically or for even friendship with similar persons. That's not the reason to come to church but churches do facilitate groups for families , moms, and couples to befriend one another because most churches are extremely welcoming to those in those various life stages and want them to feel accepted in the congregation and keep coming back. I will say it's hard in the church as a single ; people can be cruel. It meant so much to me when a married woman at church befriended me and truly was my friend inside and outside of church and treated me like I belonged there and not just someone she needed to charm to be a warm body in a ministry and then never speak to me again.

    Singles ministries or bible studies can have their own problems and quite frankly I never attended the singles events or ministries at my church when I was single. It was a large church and there was a single's ministry but it had very weak leadership. I attended the singles Sunday school class a few times when I was new because it was the only place I could go. There I made friends with several young women just like me and we created our own Bible study for women and met in each other's homes. I count them as some of my closest friends - throughout singlehood and even now when most all of us are married. So I do think there should be ministries geared towards singles- to fellowship, study, and minister together but it shouldn't be the place for singles to be locked in and they are never welcome to join other ministries or fellowships in the church (choir, small groups, etc...) until they are married. Like I said before, I didn't really attend any singles events my church offered and when a small group for women was started I joined that instead, I served with other ministries within the church that had nothing to do with my single status and well meaning church people would tell me to my face that I would never ever find a Christian man to marry because I didn't attend the singles group! anyways, I said all that to say this: I do not think that churches should focus on pairing anyone up, but I do think that they they should welcome singles and disciple them so they do have connections with the body of Christ and solid faith and so that finding a quality person of a shared faith isn't looked down upon or is such a rare occurrence.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 12:01 AM
  2. JCFantasy23

    JCFantasy23 In a Kingdom by the Sea. Staff Member Administrator Supporter CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team

    +5,274
    United States
    Methodist
    Single
    US-Others
    Good grief, that is just cringe-worthy.

    :doh:

    I see a lot of topics about this with the church, but I have to say I must be lucky - I'm never asked about my singleness, encouraged to marry, or anything like that. People at the churches I've been to don't seem to care.
     
  3. carp614

    carp614 Member

    150
    +133
    Christian
    Married
    Fair point. For example, exactly how would one go about constructing a singles ministry to go work at a soup kitchen without it being weird? I hear that music from the dating game just thinking about it...

    I don't think it would be weird to ask singles to come and help with an event, as a part of a broader appeal for volunteers to the congregation. When my church does big events, people I haven't met come out of the woodwork to help. Lots of standing around and socializing. It's a great way to connect with people you have seen in pews but never really talked to.
     
  4. christine40

    christine40 Well-Known Member

    +5,179
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    when in college, was active at the campus Christian church
    was part of a washboard band that went and performed for senior citizens
    although it wasn't specifically for singles, imagine many of us were at that time
     
  5. mina

    mina Brown Eyed girl

    +3,351
    Christian
    Married
    Why would it be weird for a single's Bible study or ministry to go and minister at a soup kitchen? This already happens in churches. The singles group at my church helped elderly members each Saturday to do yard work or house work; not to get dates but just to minister and usually people only interested in dating did not come to service events. Nor would it be weird for broader ministries to invite all members (single or not) to come to ministry activities and extend invites to the single's ministry (or the couple's ministry or the youth ministry) within a church to let them know all are welcome. Thinking all singles are at church specifically to date others or to spouse find and not understanding they want to grow in their faith or get to know those in a similar life stage for support or friendship IS weird. Dating may happen as people get to know one another. but I don't think there is anything wrong with that in every situation.
     
  6. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    +11,530
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    When you've got a regular Sunday attendance of about 40 people or so, the idea that you have a singles Bible study or ministry is itself pretty unrealistic.
     
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  7. mina

    mina Brown Eyed girl

    +3,351
    Christian
    Married
    Of course, in an extremely small congregation, how many are single? It would be unrealistic to hold single's Bible study or a group if there were only like 2 or 3 single people, but maybe they could do something on their own and have their own study or group and even meet to minister to others as that group with potential to grow in numbers. I have heard of smaller churches joining with larger ones for single's ministry or studies (that is the singles at the smaller church attend services and fellowship at their home church if they still wish to attend, but if they desire to get to know more Christian singles they attend Bible studies or ministry for that purpose at another church or at a community wide sort of thing made up of several churches in the area or in a neighboring larger city that has that sort of thing).

    Even if it doesn't warrant creating a single's minstry if the size is too small ; I would imagine in a congregation that size if you or other attenders know of someone that is struggling greatly with being single you could personally offer to pray with them or give them some encouragement or make sure that they feel accepted and part of the church family there.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 7:21 PM
  8. mnphysicist

    mnphysicist Have Courage to Trust God!

    +597
    United States
    Christian
    Widowed
    US-Democrat
    At my last church, there were around 4000 members with slightly over half being single. The 20% attendance stats rang true for the most part, and thus 800-1000 would be in attendance on a given weekend. Service project wise, folks would come out of the woodwork... with often times the Easter Christmas only folks far out numbering the regular attenders.

    Despite the attendance numbers and high rates of service project participation, it was a very rare occurrence for the singles ministry to have more than 10-15 participants.

    That being said, if 60% of the folks in your churches geographical location are single, and yet only 10% of your Sunday attendance is single, it would be wise to get a handle on why they are so far apart.
     
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