Why Are There So Many Single Adults?


SingleI 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 us nor how to reach us. After several years of serving on various single’s 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 last article, I shared with you the statistics of young and single adults in our country. Half of all adults in the US are single (18 to the grave, never-married, widow, single again, etc.). If this is so, where did they all come from? And why do we not see them in the church?
Note, in larger cities the percentage is higher while in rural areas the number is much lower.

Why the recent explosion in the number of singles?

1. Young single adults (18-33) are postponing marriage as social values change.

They are just choosing to live together or not get married at all. In a recent online interview conducted by www.myfoxatlanta.com, Andy Stanley, pastor of NorthPoint in Atlanta, GA, said that 50-60% of singles coming to his church for counseling are cohabitating. Pastor Stanley has had to make some serious changes in how they reach and grow singles adults at North Point.

2. There is a small increase in the number of individuals in our society who have chosen to remain single permanently.

Most are staying single because of trust issues. They see all the marriages around them fail including their parents.  They are afraid of failure and choose not to pursue marriage at all.

3. Selfishness at an all-time high.

We are a generation of people extremely self-focused. We simply lack the skills to handle differences with the opposite sex. We go into relationships with a mental button that says “exit” at anytime or just delete. We have no idea what real commitment is or how to handle conflict. If we can’t handle conflict between friends then how do you handle it with a spouse?

4. The number of divorces in America continues to rise.

Although in the future I predict this number will come down as there will not be any marriages, just cohabitation.

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About Kris Swiatocho

Kris Swiatocho is the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is the author of three books: Singles and Relationships: A 31-Day Experiment, co-authored with Dick Purnell of Single Life Resources; From the Manger to the Cross: The Women in Jesus' Life; and the most recent, Jesus, Single Like Me with Study Questions. Kris is currently working on her fourth book: FAQ's of Singles Ministry coming this fall 2012.

  • Catherine

    I can tell you why the single adult population is under represented in churches, and it doesn’t have anything to do with selfishness. It’s because of the negative way Single people are treated. According to the US Census Bureau there are (as of 2010) 96 million people in the United States who are unmarried. That means 43 percent of all Americans over the age of 18 are single. Why are we still the invisible people?? I have made my commitment to Christ, and I should be able to walk into any sanctuary anywhere in the world and as an unmarried, Christian woman be fully accepted as a member of the family of God. Unfortunately the reality has always been somewhat different, and I’m not the only person who feels that way, as is evidenced by several articles available on the internet.

    Single people feel ignored and lonely at Church:

    Blog: I only feel alone at church:

    Blog: How churches marginalize single people and how they can do better:

    Singles marginalization and misunderstanding:

    Single Christians feel unsupported by family-focused churches:

    I continue weekly church attendance, but just like the people interviewed in the articles, I’ve never felt completely accepted. I’ve always known that because I am a single person, I’m viewed differently and that there is a point beyond which I will never be invited.
    It isn’t supposed to be like that.

  • christianpundit

    I would leave 3. “Selfishness” off the list of reasons, or at least find a way of re-wording it, as it is not true of all never- married adults over the age of 30, and it needlessly perpetuates the many negative stereotypes married Christians tend to harbor against adult (adult as in, anyone past the age of 25 – 30) singles.

    There are many Christian singles such as myself who desired marriage, we were trusting God to send us a spouse, but we are still single into our 40s. I’m really tired of preachers and conservative Christian think tanks pretending to know why I am single, and blaming me for my single status, or making assumptions about me (such as, I must hate marriage, be a man hating feminist, etc).

    Churches and Christian culture need to respect single status as much as they do married. Ironically, I think if churches stopped worshipping marriage (yes, conservative Christians have turned marriage and having children into IDOLS), there might be more marriage as a result. You create all manner of hang ups and phobias in adult singles when marriage is emphasized as much as it is in the evangelical and Baptist churches.

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  • Robert

    Not saying a good marriage isn’t a great way to live…but I think the ‘church’ has emphasized marriage so much as being the model for members that many who dont feel less value.

  • robert

    Good topic. I am writing my own book about this as well. However, I disagree that we are intended by God to grow up and marry! Says who? We are made for God’s glory. Marriage is for those who cannot control themselves. There is much much more to life than just marriage. Ask Paul, ask Jesus…if you could!

  • Anna Kassandra

    The topic is quite timely. Great that there’s a topic about this. Now, we know the challenge. Where’s the possible solution or at least plan of action?

  • http://www.ChristianSinglesInDenver.com Brian Kluth

    I agree with the key points in this article. Kris knows what she’s talking about. By God’s grace, I was able to help start a ministry to single and single-again adults that has grown in 1 year to 1700+ people from over 200 churches, 200-300 attending every week, and thousands of people from across the country and around the world watching our weekly teaching videos and downloading our handouts from http://www.ChristianSinglesInDenver.com.

  • pastor r temituro

    Compromise in teachings is a strong reason . churches rather have single couples than advise them against cohabitation for fear of losing such members . am sure you will shock to know tye percentage of people who never marry but have raised a family is close to a quater of world families

  • http://humanwebsite.com.my Kent

    I believe internet plays very important role as well. We rather sitting in front of computers than going out, which produces a lot of singles.

  • Pingback: Why Are There So Many Single Adults Rick Warren? | KINGDOM Jesus

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