A Single Opinion

oct2

Recently while serving at an event at my home church, I found myself in the volunteer room with two other single ladies. Our ages varied in decades–from the 30’s to the 60’s. Two of us were divorced and one never married.

I gave the name of a Christian Singles Group to one of the ladies after hearing her want of meeting other singles, particularly men. And the conversations of dating came up with varied experiences and opinions especially regarding online dating.

Personally I haven’t done online dating in over 15 years and it scares me! If I am to date, I’d much prefer the friends to dating kind of way. However, since I haven’t dated for a few years now I recognize I cannot be an authority on it at all! haha!

And I no longer attend single events. When I first came back to the church ten years ago, a single’s group was a wonderful place where I met other singles, and I made women friendships that still carry on today.

Like I imagine any church ministry, the singles ministry is not without it’s challenges. Good — no excellent leadership is needed. I’ve seen single ministries end due to lack of leadership. And believe that is a wise decision for churches.

I’ll often hear “the church isn’t serving singles well” from singles and those married, from elders and pastors.

But I wonder instead of the question being “How can churches meet the needs of singles?”  it could be “How can singles meet the needs of the church?”

I know I may be getting some backs stiffening up with that question! I hope you can provide me with grace as I further the thoughts.

When hearing singles hearts, I hear their inner cries of wanting to belong, to be known. It’s a need we all have. As Christians we learn that our heavenly Father knows us. He knows every hair on our head (Luke 12:7) and that we are more valuable to Him than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31). We know we have great worth in His eyes because we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8) through the sacrifice of His only son (John 3:16). We know we are unconditionally loved (1 John 4:16).

No matter your status–single, divorced, widowed, married–His truths apply.

You are loved, worthy and valuable. And that includes in the church community. You add value to the church and provide a need that only the unique, wonderfully made you, can provide.

So to the single, my hope is you know you are already known, that your worth is securely planted from your identity in Christ and He has service for you to do, needs to be met by you that may include needs in your own church community. And maybe even ask yourself, a pastor, a friend–What’s a need in the church I can meet?

To the church community as a whole, my hope is we serve like God calls us to serve all–with humility and without “selfish ambition or vain conceit.” This serving of others includes no discrimination or labels but with tenderness and compassion because we are all “one in spirit and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:1-4).

Back to the experiences and opinions on dating as a Christian….well that might be future post! haha!

oct22

What are ways you could serve as a single at your church, or, if not single, encourage singles as part of the oneness within the body?

Lynn J Simpson, Certified Professional Life Coach at Inspiring Hope In You

Linked up today at Holly Gerth-Let’s Have Coffee

16 thoughts on “A Single Opinion

  1. We all need to be included, whether we are married or single, in a relationship or not. I have seen churches form “Singles” groups. One of the ways our church encourages everyone to “belong” is with our FEAST groups. Friends Eating and Sharing Together. Sharing a meal and fellowship includes everyone, not just certain folks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, Lynn, you are so right that we all have needs to be included and connected! Sometimes I feel that the very best place for this to happen (the Church) is the worst in fulfilling that! But oh, what a great need for which to be praying. During this season of chronic illness, my own connections with a local church have become vastly depleted from when I was in leadership pre-chronic illness. It’s given me a chance to look in from the outside, like never before. How I pray for all of us to become more inclusive in the ways that Jesus lived out for us to see. Thank you for these great suggestions and thoughts today. Blessings to you dear friend in Jesus!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to hear that chronic illness caused a depletion in connections with the local church. Looking in from the outside, from new perspectives can be so insightful and maybe even lead us to where God wants us next. And I’m blessed by your ministry developing right where you are planted, Bettie!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Luke 10:27 – And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
    We are so Blessed to be used by God thru him and in him where ever he so desires to place us for his good purpose!
    Thy will be done !

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  4. You already know how much I love your photos, Lynn. When I opened to your post, I actually whispered, “Wow!” I just sat and soaked in the beauty of that first photo, imagining myself sitting there and resting in Jesus. 🙂 A place to breathe… I love the others, too. The last one of you in the corner with God’s creation in the background is so you. 🙂 Your words, too, are so insightful. Yes, His Truth applies to all of us, no matter what our status is. I love how you hear the inner cries for belonging, not just from singles, but from everyone. Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trudy feel free to let me know of a favourite Breathing Space and I can email you one your way that you could use maybe even for a screen saver. To know that a photo brings rest in Jesus to another….just wow. What a blessing. Thank you and thank You Jesus!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Lynn … you’ve captured the essence of conversations I’ve had with single friends, single moms, single clients I’ve been fortunate enough to know over the years. I’ve learned so much from doing life with them.

    Thanks for going a bit out on a limb with your question. It’s courageous, powerful, and has the ability to turn a woman’s heart upside down … and re-orient her to new possibilities and graces. And oh my, if we’d unleash the wisdom and energy and compassion of women who happen to be unmarried toward the church.

    The sky would be the limit …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always been inspired by your words Linda, including those toward how we can do life together within our churches! My hope is yours too– that the question will orient toward new possibilities and graces. And all stemmed from the knowing that we are all worthy just ’cause we are made in His image. May we break through our ceilings to the sky!

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  6. Lynn, I love how you totally turned the whole idea of what the church can do for singles on it’s head. For that matter, this idea shouldn’t be limited to people who are single. Our human nature causes us to feel like others should do for us. But, it’s good for us to see what we can do to help, encourage, others.

    When I worked at our church years ago, we would have people who would say, “Hey, you/we should start a ______ ministry.” My question was usually, “Why don’t you write up a plan for it, and we can look at you starting that.” These words are more brusque than we stated it, but they usually got the idea that they could and should take some ownership in starting a ministry.

    Great post, Lynn!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your words sum it up Jeanne! We all are to take accountability for our lives. Yes, definitely it’s important ask for support, that we bounce our ideas off others, and receive encouragement from our community when we present our ideas. But like Nehemiah, we need to start with prayer, then plan and do and then repeat the whole process over and over again!

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    1. Something I thought of while thinking about this post, Lynn… I don’t want anyone to be single. (Does that sound funny? I mean, what business is it of mine..ha ha! But I don’t.) I mean, single-alone. I suppose some people want to be single themselves. Maybe. But I like the verse in the bible that says, “He puts the solitary in families.” (Psalm 68:6) Marriage is a good thing. We were made to be in families.

      In the post you said that two of the ladies were divorced and one of the ladies had not been married before. What do you think of God bringing back together divorced couples? A couple at my church told their story about God doing that for them. They told a very dramatic account of their turbulent marriage and divorce, but the story led to God healing them and restoring their marriage. They gave this testimony and then had a surprise wedding right afterward in front of the whole church! …I think…maybe this could become a Thing in the church. Christ restores, afterall.

      What do you think?

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      1. I love that Sandi. And to have a surprise wedding where the church community witnessed and were part of was a blessing for all I am sure! I am saddened when I hear of a marriage dissolving and my hope is always in reconciliation and with God we know nothing is impossible. I have a friend who has started a business centred around men who are going through divorce. But he notes his first hope is in reconciliation. My ex-husband has been remarried for at least 10 years now so reconciliation in the marital way is not in my future! (And we were not active Christians when married.) Yet, reconciliation in the sense of forgiveness that allows for respect of each other did occur. But, yes maybe if there are testimonies within the church of reconciled marriages, those couples that are on the brink of divorce may enter into a time of restoration instead. Great thoughts and so appreciate them. Please keep them coming. You never know what seeds may be being planted that God is moving toward a harvest that we can’t even imagine ourselves!

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  8. This post is beautiful! We all feel the need to belong in some way or another. I feel that the term “single” can be subjective, however, I personally believe everybody deserves, and needs, to be a part of a family on earth. We are people, we like to congregate, be social and love one another. I love the way churches have bible study groups focusing on “life stages,” but I also think we should be able to intermingle with others and find common ground elsewhere – maybe in hobbies or the love for Christ. Thanks for sharing this post!

    Liked by 1 person

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