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Why singles ministries fail

Discussion in 'Singles (Only*)' started by ThisIsMe123, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. ThisIsMe123

    ThisIsMe123 Not sure

    50
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    Single
    I Googled this keyword phrase, and you'll surprisingly see a very high amount
    of complaints and articles regarding this topic.

    Most notably though, if you scroll to the bottom of these articles, you'll see countless comments from people, typically in their 30s and 40s (or even older) complaining how their churches do not cater to singles over their mid-20s.

    They compared it to being treated like a non-existent individual pretty much. It's almost as if you had no-status if you're not married...since churches tend to cater to mostly families and not singles.

    This is why you rarely see a single person sitting in church and wind up finding or meeting their future partner outside of church, typically in the secular world of other social circles...either via work, friend of a friend going out on the town, etc.

    Here's an excerpt from one of the commenters were getting tired of platitudes being thrown their direction like "You should be content in your singlehood". Some even shame you for desiring to marry.

    Many Christians (usually the married ones, but also occasionally the pious Christian singles who are thrilled with being single) will shame you and give you guilt trips or horrid platitudes if you admit you would like to marry, or if you ask if they would pray that God send you a spouse. You will hear cliches from them such as "Jesus is all you need," "be content in your singleness," or some other cliche'.

    Some churches frown upon the idea of singles groups as being a "pick-up" joint, and refuse to do it. Some people commented, "Isn't the idea of church is to bring single people together, get married, grow and prosper?"

    Some Christian singles have convinced themselves that they might as well seek a future partner somewhere else outside of their church, likely not in a church venue.

    Even in my recent post about the possibly attached woman, one of the men said, "Well, the group is not meant for dating."

    I mean, you could say that about anywhere, really, "The library isn't meant for dating, but for reading"

    But yet, I know people have met in a library and dated.

    "The beach is meant for swimming and playing in the sand!"

    "Really? My mom and dad met on the beach"
     
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  2. kittysbecute

    kittysbecute Jedi Apprentice

    +1,578
    United States
    Protestant
    Single
    US-Republican
    What do you think the purpose of singles ministries should be?
    I think my church actually has bible study groups for older singles and not younger. Due to the demographic of it.
     
  3. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Newbie

    +1,327
    Christian
    Single
    If they are in real Christian churches, every sermon is giving them things they need. But they need to understand and apply what they are given. For example, God's word says >

    "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful." (Colossians 3:15)

    This is for every single or married Christian. Every one of us is called to submit to how our Heavenly Father personally rules each of us in His own peace. And this peace is so perfectly satisfying. This is God's own peace which He is intimately and personally sharing with each of us who is obeying Him. So, we are not complaining and straining while we submit to how You, O LORD our Father, rule each of us in our "hearts".

    This is a basic of Christianity. So, in case some single people are older and still have not gotten into submitting to God in His peace so satisfying . . . they are not wise to be blaming churches and other people for their problems. Possibly, they are not even in churches which minister God's word; or they are in with really Christian people, but their own self-seeking dictating of what they want can keep them from connecting with the really Christian people in their churches.

    In any case . . . also . . . Jesus is very clear how if we obey Jesus we will have deep and satisfying "rest for your souls" >

    "'Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.'" (Matthew 11:29)

    So, have these complaining and blaming people even gotten started with Jesus? I would recommend that you go with what God's word says, and not trust what a bunch of Internet strangers are claiming while blaming humans instead of trusting how God succeeds in us. If they are not obeying God, they are their own main problem.

    I have spent time with a variety of people. There are ones who insist they have to get married, they are desperate, but they take it into their own hands. And they keep getting hurt with people they do not belong with. And they keep using their same old methods which keep failing them!!

    It would be wise, instead, to first be in prayer until God is perfectly satisfying you in His peace . . . after having corrected you so you do this. Then do what He satisfies and guides you to do, unconditionally trusting howsoever He guides you in His peace. And in case there are people who are unloving and shaming, have mercy on people who do not know how to love you; have compassion. There will always be wrong people who misunderstand you and who do not know how to love.

    And, by the way . . . the bait you use can be what chooses the kind of fish you catch. There is sucker bait, and there is trout bait :) Are we trying to use physical attraction and charm, or are we seeking God's correction so we can become good examples who attract Christian people? Physical attraction does not tell you if a person will be a good example for your children; godly reproduction includes being good examples so our children can know how to love because of our good example of how we relate in love. So, are we about bringing up children the way God wants, or are we seeking to use someone for what we want?

    Love does not have us trying to just use anyone. So we need to find out how to love > by learning with Jesus and His good example people who are gentle and humble and quiet and first about pleasing God.

    Instead of listening to blamers and complainers, then, I would recommend that we trust what our Apostle Paul says about marriage and being single >

    "For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that." (1 Corinthians 7:7)

    In obedience to Jesus, I understand from this, we have either the gift of being single or the gift of being married. Either way is a "gift from God" and it is in love which so deeply satisfies us >

    "Let all that you do be done with love." (1 Corinthians 16:14)

    Right now, then, if we are depending on and trusting God and doing what He has us doing in His love, we are satisfied, now. But there are people who are being their own dictators of what they have to have. They can be judging by their own problems and weaknesses, instead of depending on God to correct us (Hebrews 12:4-11) and personally guide us (Isaiah 58:11).

    For some while when I was a not exactly Christian person, I was falling in love with one woman after another; and I have wished to marry maybe over thirty women. But more and more I was finding out that it is good to be with God in His love and simply love any and all people. By the way, the women I liked were helping me get a clue that I needed to find out how to love; each one was good for me, along the way :)

    Then I got with a church where there are people who are examples for me, of how I need to be and to relate in love. And here I have gotten more into caring about others as myself; and so I could be happy about others being married and having children, because I cared about them as myself > their being so blessed was as good as if it was me, since I loved them dearly; and so I could be thankful for how God was blessing them.

    I can be fully satisfied in enjoying other Christians' marriages and children . . . without having to pay the bills :)
     
  4. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

    +2,121
    Christian Seeker
    Single
    This thread made me realize there isn't a singles ministry or group in our church either!:doh::doh::doh:
     
  5. Saucy

    Saucy King of CF and her loyal colonies. Supporter

    +10,413
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    Non-Denom
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    I used to run the young adult ministry in my church. Did so for about 10 years with varying degrees of success. Many times we had close to a hundred. Some days only 2-3 would show up. And while my pastor at the time seemed supportive of the ministry idea, he never offered support in any other way. We weren't allowed to make an announcement about it, I had to pull teeth to get news into the main church bulletin, and we were given no budget (despite all the other ministries having a budget).

    I think the church's main focus is children's ministries. It brings families, which are the bread and butter of the church. But what happens when they grow up, go through AWANA and the teen programs, then there's nothing for them?

    Statistics show that 90% of 19-year-olds leave the church. That's mainly because there's nothing for them. A lot of churches do have men's and women's bible studies, but those seem to be more geared for married men and women. I think a lot of it has to do with the changing times. Throughout most of human history, most people were married by their early 20s.

    Being single until 30 or later is a more modern phenomena that no one, including the church, was prepared for.
     
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  6. kittysbecute

    kittysbecute Jedi Apprentice

    +1,578
    United States
    Protestant
    Single
    US-Republican
    It is a bummer, I think a lot of young people who do stay in church find other churches that have a lot of people their age in. Or some leave for college or jobs far away then come back after they've gotten married. I enjoyed a small group at my church when I was around 19-21 and I also visited a giant bible study that college/career/singles from different churches in the area would come to. It was sort of interesting because there were a lot of people from different denominations. It was fun fellowship. I think I prefer groups that are not designated by relationship status. This one was nice because there was such a variety of people and our purpose was to just fellowship and learn more about God.
    At my church I think I'm one of the very few single people in my age group. But then I don't go to church for the purpose to meet someone to marry. I think it is hard to keep up bible study groups for people in the young adult ages because it is such a transitional period for everyone. I know my bible study sort of ended slowly when one by one people got jobs farther away or got into colleges, or moved. Even after college ages it is still a transitional period for a lot of people.
     
  7. Saucy

    Saucy King of CF and her loyal colonies. Supporter

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    yeah the young adult ministries I was involved in had nothing to do with finding someone to marry. In fact, a lot of the people were already dating someone else. It's mostly about having a group with people your own age to fellowship with and hear sermons/messages about things we're all dealing with.

    I think a lot of it is when you graduate, you make you own choices and that leads a lot of people away from the church for awhile, but they come back when it's time to settle down and start their own family. Many go to college and return home.

    But yeah, if you go to church to pick someone up, it's probably not the best use of your time lol.
     
  8. ThisIsMe123

    ThisIsMe123 Not sure

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    Funny you bring up the physical. There's this woman in the aforementioned group, very tall, 6 feet.
    She used to go frequently, then she disappeared. I happened to see her profile on a dating site.

    Although she said in her profile, she is looking for a Christian/Godly man in her life to
    raise a family with, but the only catch...that you must be taller.

    It is true, she towered over everyone in the group when she entered the room, both men and women.

    Can't say that I blame her, but you mention the physical as that's an example of the
    world's relating when people couple up. She decided to leave the group, to pursue other
    means of meeting someone...taller.

    Wow, 90%?! That's a huge percentage!

    Where I live, considering it's a smaller community, people marry their high school sweethearts and
    continue working their blue collar jobs (not belittling the job, just saying it to put it in context). Also, they don't bother with going off to a 4 year college to experience their independence.

    I know of a couple that just celebrated their 30th Anniversery, was surprised they didn't wind up on the
    undesirable side of that 50% divorce statistic. THat's just how it is in these smaller towns.

    Although, I am reaching an age (40s) where a lot are divorcing during their 20 year itch, so...I still have a chance. lol
    I never married by the way...and it wasn't for the lack of trying.

    I live in such the deep south, I had a co-worker, southern Baptist, that acted shocked that
    I wasn't married.

    He was like, "What?! God said that it's not good to be single, but have a wife!"

    Or somethign to that effect, I paraphrased. And I did say, "Hey, it's not for the lack of trying, but I'm apparently not tall enough!"

    *Ba-da-boom!* ;-)
     
  9. Saucy

    Saucy King of CF and her loyal colonies. Supporter

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    Yeah, I had a bit of a rough road through my 20s, but now I'm ready for marriage and kids in my 30s. I worked hard to keep a young adult ministry in the church, but things change so quickly for people in that age group. We can meet 'the one' tomorrow. Or decide to go back to school. Or chase a job out of state.

    I'm considering starting a young adult ministry at my new church. They focus almost entirely on the kid's ministry and there's virtually no one else my age there. Or single. And we are directly next door to a large senior citizen home, so they come over for church too. Old people and kids...great combo haha.
     
  10. THE W

    THE W BORN APRIL 29TH 2012

    +968
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    Presbyterian
    Single
    they seem to fail because the church simply doesn't know how to address this issue. we're grossly confused.

    telling someone that "Christ is all they need" should only be used on those who are angry at God or are doubting their self-worth due to being single and not so much to those who simply have a desire to pair up and ask for prayer on the subject. I also don't see how a singles group could exclude or attempt to discourage the possibility of these singles pairing up.

    this stuff comes from those who misunderstand what Paul said about "remaining as I am" in 1 Corinthians 7. he was NOT saying that celibacy is a gift but that some have the gift of celibacy that allows them to be okay with being single permanently. it's the gift of celibacy verses the circumstance of celibacy. those without the gift but only the circumstance are instructed to get married.

    if someone had a desire to marry and wanted me to pray for them I certainly would but I would also ask what they are doing to make themselves someone a godly man or woman would want to marry as well as what they're doing to get out and meet people?
     
  11. Citanul

    Citanul Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent

    +822
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  12. ThisIsMe123

    ThisIsMe123 Not sure

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    Right, you can't just expect someone to fall in your lap, you have to get out there, mingle, ask people out, etc.
     
  13. redblue22

    redblue22 Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name.

    +1,182
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    The problem is not singles groups. It is the particular church as a whole. The Solution is to find a church that has your values, desires, and beliefs.

    Then again, if the local church refuses the responsibility of bringing people together to live and love one another, then we'll just have to meet that need somewhere else. Maybe a pub.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  14. TheGirlOnFire

    TheGirlOnFire Winter is coming

    +1,888
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    UK-Labour
    I think the issue is their a huge thing about families, and a married couple in church. And singleness is seen as a disease like no one wants to own up to it. But actually both are a gift from God, i think it really does need to change in our churches. We are supposed to be a family, so we should all start acting like one.

    The only way change is going to come, if we all make the change.
     
  15. ThisIsMe123

    ThisIsMe123 Not sure

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    Easier said than done, as they are rare finds these days, and if they do get started, they tend to fizzle over time. People tend to come and go, filter in and out. Like a revolving door. Hopefully the one I'm checking out "sticks".
     
  16. redblue22

    redblue22 Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name.

    +1,182
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    If you walk in the door and they tell you that they are not for dating or socializing, it takes 2 seconds to see they have large systemic problem and leave.
     
  17. Grandpa2390

    Grandpa2390 ENTP

    +575
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    Non-Denom
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    US-Libertarian
    Agreed. The purpose of church is not just to hear sermons, but for community of believers to support each other. With no young adult ministry, that's pretty much where I am. I can listen to sermons on my phone. The church isn't just about listening to sermons.
     
  18. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

    +2,121
    Christian Seeker
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    We do have a young adults ministry and there's lots of (desperate) singles in it....

    But I'm way above the age limit! I'm getting invited often because I look young, like they won't find out my real age.... of course they would!
     
  19. Saucy

    Saucy King of CF and her loyal colonies. Supporter

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    The question we often asked was if the ministry should cater to singles alone or young adults? Or college aged? Lol
     
  20. ThisIsMe123

    ThisIsMe123 Not sure

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    And this is why you see single people church hopping all the time. The church they find, do have a singles ministries for a couple of years, but then it fizzles. Go to another church, wash, rinse, repeat.

    These groups do exist, but then die off in a short period of time. The that I just started going to, was started up by a guy that invited me over because he used to be member of a singles group in another church, that died off...so he started his own.

    It's like playing church wack-a-mole.
     
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