Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries

Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries

I’m afraid this is too little too late, and it also still sounds like a lot of pastors and Christians are apathetic about meeting the needs of single (especially never married) adults who are over the age of 30.

If you’re a church, or a secular or religious conservative, you need to meet people where they are and meet their needs where they are currently, rather than lambasting people for not being married, shaming them, or lecturing them about being single and the so-called importance of the Nuclear Family.

And stop putting the onus on single adults to meet their own needs and the needs of other single adults.

If your church has staff and devotes funds to minister to married with young children, drug addicts, divorced adults, or people in the grieving process,
you need to also set aside church staff and funds to set up programs and services to cater to single adults over the age of 30,
rather than making this hypocritical exception where you put the burden on single adults to set up single adults ministries and fund raise for single adult ministries.

To put this another way, many churches expect that older single adults who want more attention and effort poured into older single adults at the church will be told to take the matter into their own hands and to create and maintain singles classes and singles activities, rather than the church making it happen.

Most of you churches these days behave like international secular corporations, like a McDonald’s, where you cater to various special interest groups  (such as married couples, divorced adults, people in addiction recovery, or millennials or gen Z), but you’re telling me, you hypocrites, you cannot be bothered to view older single adults as another interest group you would be willing to market to and serve? That makes no sense.

I’m sorry, but no. That is complete hypocrisy.

If your church (like many churches) has classes, social functions, pot luck meals, and sermons devoted regularly to ‘married- with- children couples’ and THEIR particular needs and concerns,
and you don’t demand that married members set up these classes and provide elbow grease to other married couples (and you don’t), it’s totally hypocritical and infuriating to demand that single adults do the heavy lifting for single adult ministries.

If your church is willing to pick up the slack and provide services to married couples (and all of you do this, because you WORSHIP parenthood, natalism, marriage and the Nuclear Family), you can damn well also cater to the needs and interests of older single (and childless) adults as well, and stop asking the single adults to sponsor, create, manage or maintain the programs in place for older single adults.

Another news flash for churches and preachers:

You’re not going to diminish the phenomenon of delayed marriage or the increasing number of single adults by doing any of the following
(which you’ve tried before for over a decade now, these approaches do not work, and actually drive singles away from churches AND from the faith itself, in some cases):

  • shaming or criticizing single adults for being single and assuming they are still single because they are failures, losers, ugly, fat, too picky, selfish, or man-hating, career-obsessed feminists,
  • by yelling at them to run out and marry right away
    (that is not how marriage actually happens);
  • wrongly thinking dating sites are an instant solution to finding a mate, so advising all the Christian singles you know to “just try dating sites like e-Harmony!”,
  • lecturing adult singles over the age of 30 on the so-called wonders of The Nuclear Family and marriage
    (as though the reason they’re not married yet is that they dislike, or don’t value, marriage or The Nuclear Family – eye roll),
  • telling single adults bogus how- to- get- married advice that does not work
    (such as, ‘Just trust in the Lord, pray, wait, have faith, and in due time, He will send you a spouse!,’
    ‘Once you’re content in your singleness is when God will send you a spouse,’ etc)
  • refusing to help marriage-minded single adults who’d like to get married opportunities at church to meet other marriage-minded singles for the express purpose of dating leading to marriage
    (i.e., saying that doing so would make church a “meat market,” that church’s only purpose is to “worship the Lord”),
    or
  • patronizingly instructing older single adults that their only or main purpose so long as single is to act as free labor to the church or to society in general (eg., to act as free babysitters to the married- couples- with- children, to act as free maid service to mop the church’s kitchen floor, etc).

(Link): Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries

August 16, 2022
By Marissa Postell

As the number of single adults in the United States continues to grow, so does the need for ministry to single adults in churches.

According to a 2020 profile of single Americans by Pew Research Center, nearly 1 in 4 (23%) U.S. adults ages 30-49 are single—not married, living with a partner or in a committed romantic relationship.

And the 2021 U.S. Census Bureau data on America’s Families and Living Arrangements reveals many of these have never been married.

Continue reading “Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries”

Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood

Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood

I’ve been saying many of the same things on this blog for the last several years that this 2022 essay says.

Churches, especially gender complementarian ones – and not just in women’s ministries, but overall, in every facet of a church – make single / childless / childfree women feel ignored or unwanted, except for those Christians who patronizingly behave like the only use for a single, childless woman is to babysit the children of the married couples.

Reminder to Christians: more adults are not marrying these days – at all. Some may marry, but not until their 30s, 40s or older. Many (even if they do marry) are choosing to forgo children.

When churches focus on marriage and motherhood to the extent they do, they also send a message that being married and a parent is necessary for sanctification or relationship with God, which is false.

A person does not need to marry or have children to be sanctified, know God, or to be mature, ethical, godly, loving, or responsible.

(Link): Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood

Excerpts:

March 25, 2022
by Rachel Baker

Women’s ministries are often the home to every category of woman: Single, married, mother, widow, and so forth. As a Women’s Ministry Director, I both attend a women’s small group and organize the women’s ministry meetings at my local church.

In my small group alone there is a vast array of women, each in different categories, some are empty nesters, some are starting families, some are intentionally single, while others are single with the hope of being in a relationship in the future.

We cover the gamut, so why is it that women’s ministries’ regularly cast their focus on the married mother?

Don’t get me wrong, as a married mother I have absolutely benefited from Bible study curriculum and content focused on marriage and motherhood, however it should go without saying that these types of studies do not represent all women.

If you are in a position at your local church in women’s ministry or as a small group leader here are a few reasons why you might want to steer your Bible study content away from marriage and motherhood:

Studies Solely Based on Marriage and Motherhood Can Feel Exclusive

As a young married woman and then young mother I desperately needed support and connection and resources to help me feel a little less alone in that particular season of my life.

Marriage ministries and parenting ministries absolutely have a place within the church; they are absolutely needed.

However, when our larger-scale ministries such as women’s ministry or small group ministry only focus on young-married or motherhood we can miss out on the richness that comes from a group of women of all life-stages and relationship status.

Continue reading “Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood”

God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

I have mixed feelings about posting a link to this (way below).

I know if you are literally alone – if you are a never married, divorced, or widowed adult, and you either don’t have children, or you are not on good terms with your biological family (or many of them are deceased or out of state), that it may be hard to feel positive about the message below.

Snowman
Snowman

I  know it can be difficult to hear Christians writing “you’re not alone, God is with you” if you are, as I said, literally, physically alone in your apartment or home.

It would be nice to have an actual, breathing human sitting across from you, rather than have to rest in the idea that there’s this God in Heaven who cares about you, and have to take that on faith.

I do think Christians (churches especially) need to step up to the plate more and make more of an effort to include those adults who live alone, who aren’t married, who don’t have a nuclear family of their own…

Rather than doing things like over-focusing on nuclear families, and closing churches down on Christmas Day (yes, some churches have been known to (Link):  withhold services on Christmas Day, because they assume every one is at home watching their biological child and spouse opening presents under the tree).

Never mind that some sites say that (Link): half or over half of the American population is now single – singles out-number married couples, and that stat won’t be changing any time soon, all the focus on Nuclear Families is excluding about half the American population.

So, what are you members of churches out there doing to reach out to the lonely and single in your areas?

Churches, you can stop it any time now with slobbering all over the married- with- children couples already. The “Nuclear Family” has received the “lion’s share” of affection and attention from churches and Christian culture for far too long now.

Time to start acknowledging the single and childless among you.

Churches have been losing in attendance in the last so many years – if they want to increase attendance, it might help if they start focusing on single adults.

(Link):  God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field

Dec 25, 2021

Loneliness a terrible thing.

And as is often pointed out, at no time is loneliness more poignantly felt by scores of people than at Christmas.

If there’s an upside to the whole COVID fiasco, it’s that many of us had the opportunity last Christmas to experience a little bit of what that’s like. Millions of people had to stay separated from family — and we quickly realized that it’s not so great.

And it should have served as a wake-up call for those who call themselves followers of Jesus.

Continue reading “God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)”

Church Matchmaking Show: Congregations Help Singles Find Soul Mates in Upcoming Show

Church Matchmaking Show: Congregations Help Singles Find Soul Mates in Upcoming Show

I approve. Churches should be helping Christian singles to get married to other Christian singles, if they want or need the help.

(Link): Church Matchmaking With Natalie Grant: Congregations Help Singles Find Soul Mates in Upcoming Show

    BY TYLER O’NEIL , CP REPORTER
    January 14, 2014|12:40 pm

    GSN Television Network, well-known for its hit show “American Bible Challenge,” is debuting a new show, “It Takes a Church,” where church members compete to find a soul mate for one unsuspecting single.

    “There are a growing number of singles in the church who do not want to be single,” award-winning gospel artist Natalie Grant told The Christian Post on Monday. Grant said these unhappy singles” are finding it harder and harder to meet quality men and women of integrity.” Rather than frequenting nightclubs or bars, or resorting to online dating to find someone new, these unmarried Christians might be part of a grand experiment involving church “cupids.”

    “Each week, ‘It Takes A Church’ visits a congregation from across the country to surprise one unsuspecting single with the news that they’re about to be saved from the dating world,” explains the GSN website. “The church’s pastor will task their congregation of cupids to find the best possible matches for the dater, but in the end, our single will decide which suitor to put their faith in.”

    The “cupid” whose suitor is chosen will have a donation made to the church in their name, according to Sean Jennings, director of Corporate Communications and Publicity at GSN.

    Grant believes one of the best places for singles to find their soul mates is in the church. She described it as “the place where you’ve chosen to make community, build relationships, let people get to know who you really are.”

    When a Christian makes a church his or her home, the congregation forms a community of friends, and “those people have your best interests at heart.” Not only that, but they “may just know someone who would be a good match for you, who shares your same values and morals,” she said.

((( Click here to read the rest of the article )))
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Related posts this blog:

(Link): Why Not Focus On How Churches Can Help Adult Singles?

(Link): How Christians and Churches Can Be of Help to Older Singles (copy)

(Link): Singled Out: How Churches Can Embrace Unmarried Adults by Christena Cleveland

(Link): Are There Any Protestant or Baptist Singles – Friendly Churches or Denominations ? / Singles Single Adult Childfree Childless Age 30 40 50 Christian
– if you are a reader of this blog, please leave a comment below that post if you know of any churches / denominations that actually help and minister to singles over the age of 30, thank you

(Link): Police urge caution when using dating websites / Murderers on Dating Sites

(Link): Beware of Rapists on Christian Dating Sites

(Link): Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts

(Link): Helping Christian Singles Meet Christian Singles (to date)

(Link): Post by Sarah Bessey Re: Churches Ignore Never Married Older and/or Childless Christian Women, Discriminate Against Them

(Link): How churches can play role in dating, marriage

(Link): 2008 Audio Interview with Julia Duin About Christian Singles (you can listen to it online)

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan

Are There Any Protestant or Baptist Singles – Friendly Churches or Denominations ? / Singles Single Adult Childfree Childless Age 30 40 50 Christian

Are There Any Protestant or Baptist Singles Friendly Churches or Denominations?

Note: For Singles Over the Age of 29 – who are 30 and older

It’s quite obvious to me, coming from an evangelical, or Southern Baptist history, and being familiar with Fundamentalists, that most evangelical, Southern Baptist, and Fundamentalist Christianity treats unmarried adults horribly. Like dog crap, as a matter of fact.

Does anyone know of any churches or denominations (Protestant or Baptist groups) that treat singles with respect, that actually minister to singles and do not idolize marriage and making babies?

Do you know of a church or denomination that takes PRACTICAL STEPS to fix singles up with each other for the purpose of marriage (e.g., arranges and hosts many singles mixers), or at least prays that their singles get married?

If so, please leave comments in the comments below this post. Please identify the church and explain how they are good to and for singles.

I seriously doubt there are any such churches or denominations, but I present this post as an opportunity to be shown otherwise.

In all my extensive web searching for articles and blogs about Christianity and singleness (and believe you me, I’ve done a ton of googling on this stuff), I have yet to find even a single blog post or article, by an un-married Christian, claiming that “XYZ Church” or “XYZ Denomination” is gosh golly gee whiz great, tom T teriffic, “I advise all single adults to join XYZ and find fulfilment as I and all my single pals did!” I have yet to find such testimonies. And I’ve been internet searching this stuff for a few years now.

(Usually, if I do find a glowing “my church is awesome for singles!,” review, the two or three such posts I’ve seen, were written by 22 year old kids. I already concede churches are good at ass-kissing 20 year old singles, but they ignore every one over 25 – 30 who is still single.)

I have seen Roman Catholic and Mormon singles bitch and moan on their forums and blogs abut how their respective denominations treat the unmarried over the age of 25 / 30 like trash.

I’m mentioning this topic because I have come across one or two people on other sites, who, upon reading my rants on these topics, insist that THEIR church/denomination is great for singles!

If memory serves, these are people from Lutheran or Presbyterian churches.

….AMUSING AND SAD SIDE STORY (Example of Christian Married People Prejudice Against, and Hatred of, Christian Adult Singles)….

One of the women telling me that her denomination is just wonderful with adult singles is a married woman, who is, I believe, in her 50s or 60s, who displays the most loathesome, horrible, condescending attitudes towards single women.

This married Christian woman does not think her husband (or any woman’s husband, even if a Christian) should ever have to provide any sort of practical assistance, or emotional support, to any single woman who approaches him for help, and she is quite snotty in how she discusses this, as though she thinks all single women are dog crap, and are trolling to steal her hubby.

And this is on a “Christian” blog by a woman who claims to be Christian who says her church is sweet and loving to adult singles.

I think, if I remember right, she was suggesting I attend her denomination because as a never married woman, I would be welcome there, unlike Baptist or evangelical churches.

Yes, let that sink in:

This rude, condescending woman hates adult single women, thinks Christian married couples should not have to help any un-married woman (note: this totally contradicts Christ’s teachings about the body of believers supporting each other), nor should singles ask married people for help (she thinks that is rude and suspicious of them), yet she claims her church is so awesome at being sweet, kind, and loving to adult singles.

I told her if her sh-tty, rude, insulting, paranoid attitudes towards adult single (Christian) women in the comments on the blog was indicative of her denomination’s attitude overall towards the un-married, that I seriously doubt they are as loving, kind, and eager to help adult singles as she was claiming.

… Where is the Online Evidence?…

If Lutherans and Presbyterians (or some other denominations – I think I’ve seen some claim Methodists are great with adult singles) are so totally awesome, dan- dandy, superb at unmarried adult inclusion, and meeting the needs of singles, and not making an idol of marriage…. why then am I not finding evidence of this online?

Would I not have come across handfulls of posts by unmarried adults that say,

    • “Hello, I’m Susie Christian. I attend ECLA (Evangelical Lutheran Church), and I find they are great towards unmarried adults. They allow us to teach and lead.

They don’t give preferential treatment to married couples with children. They don’t make every sermon about marriage!

The married women don’t treat us like harlots who want to steal their men! Singleness is not treated like a disease at ECLA!

My church/ denomination is NOT baby- or kid- centric! Womanhood is not confined to only motherhood or marriage.”

I have yet to come across even a single blog post like that, or a single article.

Even if I did, that would be one too few. I’d have to see a pattern of them, like blog posts spaced out over the past decade, written by different people, on different blogs.

I am just really, really skeptical that there is an old mainline Protestant group, or non denomination mega (or small) church, that treats singles or singleness with respect, but if you feel you know of any, please feel free to tell me about them in a post below. Thank you.


Related posts this blog:

(Link): Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): Thoughts Regarding ‘Crisis in the Christian Church: A Lack of Young, Single Men’ Essay by S. Green