I had a fantastic conversation recently with Steve Burdan about singles, singles again, and the single lifestyle. He heads up a ministry with singles of all ages called Full Life Chicago.
Churches have neither reached out to the singles community well nor have they incorporated singles into ministry at the local level well. Nor are the issues of single folks understood … here are some themes for conversation.
What are your comments about the following?
First, some singles want to get married, and they find singles ministries in part to be about the social dimension.
Second, some singles don’t want to get married, or aren’t in a hurry to get married and are content with being single. Which means, we can’t assume “single therefore searching.”
Third, very often local churches are nervous about hiring a single pastor outside of the young youth pastor. There aren’t that many single senior pastors. Why?
Fourth, lots of single ministries are meat markets — what I mean by that is that they seem to be constructed primarily to foster dating relationships that might lead to marriage. Some are offended by the systemics of such sorts of ministries and are looking for something else (the kind of thing Steve Burdan is working on).
Fifth, not enough single ministries focus on singleness as a state during which time singles can develop as Christians and participants in the kingdom of God and the local church. In other words, many ministries expect singles to get married so their “real” life can begin. They are expected to get married so they can participate in the local church.
Sixth, many single folks we know say they are not necessarily seeking marriage but they do want to have intergenerational relationships. They are not necessarily looking for niche singles ministries.