Tens of thousands of churches in the U.S. advertize that they are a “family church.” That sounds like they minister only to families and thus not to single adults. Many do just that, and that’s discrimination.
I have never seen a church advertize itself as a “singles church.” Yet half of all adult Americans are single. And I have never seen a church minister to single adults as much as they minister to families. I’m certainly not against churches trying to meet the spiritual needs of families. My church did that with my family. But I just think there needs to be more balance on this subject.
When I became unwantingly divorced after 27.5 years of marriage, I entered into the single world which I knew not of. It was quite an education. Soon after I was divorced, a divorced, single woman in my medium-sized, Bible church asked the board of elders if she could start an adult singles ministry in our church. The answer was “no,” and I don’t recall that any explanation was given. Some of the guys on that board of elders were my friends. I and my family–my wife and three children–had attended that church for twenty years. I immediately quit and attended another church that had a singles ministry that accommodated my age.
What I discovered in my experience as a divorced single was that the mainline denominational churches are the best at trying to meet the needs of single adults, even divorced Christians. Catholic churches and Methodist churches may be the best at it. Some Evangelical church leaders should be ashamed about this. Now, many of the larger, Evangelical and Pentecostal-Charismatic churches do a good job at ministering to divorced singles. But it’s just not enough.Another thing I noticed was that churches are so parochial about singles ministry just as they are about most everything else regarding other churches. It’s all about competition. Indeed, wise King Solomon wrote, “all toil and all skill in work come from one person’s envy of another” (Ecclesiastes 4.4). Churches need to quit thinking about church proselytizing and join forces in creating larger social functions for adult singles. Forget about the idea that it might cause your church to lose some people to other churches. It can also be a good way to reach out to nonChristian singles. I think there’s an untapped market there.
But a lot of church leaders get so uptight about singles and sex that they won’t touch it with a ten foot pole. Heh, have singles leaders do some biblical teaching about sex. Christians should minister to all people, including adult singles, even divorced adults, and also reach out to nonChristian singles. Create some programs to do this. Get in the marketplace, spread the good word, and disciple all nations with the life-saving message of God-in-Christ and the benefits that can be gained in this life as well as the life-to-come from following Jesus.