[I have been single my entire adult life. Because I am single, I have had a front row experience of how churches are reaching and growing singles adults. As a result, I have found that most churches simply did not know much about singles adults or how to reach us. After several years of serving on various singles ministry leadership teams as well as starting my own, God called me to help others do the same? Specifically to help reach the church, the pastors and staff; to educate and provide resources so that ALL churches would know how to reach singles.]
In my previous articles (see part 1 & part 2), I shared with you three myths about single adults. Myth #1, we have more time than married adults; myth #2, we are less committed and myth #3, all singles are hurting and need to be fixed. In summary, single adults do have their fair share of problems and hurts; however, there is a myth that they have more than married adults. Because singles bring their problems to church, due to the church being their family, there is perceived notion that they have more problems. From my experience, it’s the opposite, mainly due to not having the extended family including spousal issues and present communication. Most married’s simply deal with their junk at home and we never see it at church.
MYTH #4: SINGLES ADULT MINISTRY IS JUST EXTENDED YOUTH
First we must define single adult ministry. Pretty much anyone over the age of 45 would love to be called young but know that this myth does not apply to them. The myth does apply to singles that are 18 to mid-aged. Now while I would even agree that some college ministries to mid-twenties may look like an extended youth group, there is and should be a huge difference.
In today’s times, with so many young singles still living at home, even waiting on college till they are older, not getting married, etc. It does seem like the maturity level of young singles is still at the youth stage. However, what may appear youthful to older married adults is simply the next stage of life. College ministry should not be this horrible next step where young adults are made to feel old and bad about being grown up. It should simply be a place to encourage maturity, taking more adult steps such as going to college, getting a job and moving out of thier parents home. It should also be a place in life where young singles should be valued beyond the youth in that they are adults. They can vote, go to war, get their own home and make a difference in the world. They can also choose to follow God or not. All the more reason our college and young adult ministries need to continue to reach them (even if our attempts look similar to youth ministry efforts).
Now as college-age singles move into their mid-twenties and beyond, we are seeing a huge change not only in the activities they are choosing but also in the Spiritual topics of discussion. They have become young professionals (some in school and some out), living with roommates, traveling, making life decisions, getting married, starting families and so forth. Their singles ministries may include a game or movie night but don’t you enjoy that too pastor? But what you might miss if you are not apart of this wonderful ministry is the seriousness they have to reach a lost world. They are a generation that has grown up with full media in their face 24/7. They hunger for authenticity. They hunger for truth. They aren’t playing all the games of their youth. They are beginning to make a huge difference in our world.
So pastor, next time you think your young singles are just fooling around and appear to be no different than your youth ministry, stop and sit in on one of their Bible studies, one of their conversations and you might just change your mind.
And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. – 1 Samuel 17:42