Single minded

As a pastor I’m sure you have a great passion for making sure all who attend your church receive great support and are made to feel welcome.  Often (but not always) pastors are married and are relate extremely well to other married couples in their church.  But the question is, how well do you relate to those who fall outside of that box?  How switched on are you to the challenges of that single mother in your church who can’t attend small group because of her child?  How aware are you of the widow who won’t go out to an evening meeting because of going home alone in the dark? How do you relate to the member of your church who struggles with same sex attraction, what meaningful support are you offering them?  What about the young adults who are desperate to find their future spouse but are not dating and feel hopeless in their search, do you recognise how they feel when everyone around them is coupled up?  Or the father who only has access to his kids every other weekend and is feeling the grief of his relationship breakup?  Perhaps you are meeting all their needs, but chances are, from the conversations I’ve had with church members, you’re failing the singles without knowing it.

Take a look at your church event schedule with a fresh pair of eyes.  How accessible is it to all members of the church, not just married couples.  Where do singles find community, are there events that exclude them? Are there meetings where they would need specific support to attend or is everything geared up to be fully inclusive of your whole community?
What about your teaching programme, does it include daytime, evening and online accessible options? If not, why not?  And what about the content of your teaching/preaching, do you touch on the more difficult topics which some of the singles may be struggling with – intimacy, loneliness, porn or sexual immorality for example?

Ask yourself the question, “Have I personally experienced any of the specific challenges of the singles in my church?”  If not why not get together with some of them and be open and vulnerable, seeking their input to make your church a more single friendly space.  Appoint a singles champion to address what you find and make a commitment to making your church single friendly.  Put yourself in the shoes of your single members and you will find that things start to fall into place and your singles become more integral to the life of the church.

For more on this please do watch our video in our Spacious Place Training, entitled, Embracing Singleness which can be found on our YouTube channel





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