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 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.