Why My Church Doesn’t Have a Singles Ministry

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Single WomanI 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.

While there are several large churches that have a singles pastor or director and are doing a great job in reaching and growing single adults, most churches do not. Most churches give various excuses such as:

We don’t have any single adults.
 Well this is because you either are not defining singles correctly or simply have not looked at your membership demographics (or the demographics of your area).  In most large cities in the US, single adults are out numbering the married’s. I know this might be a shock to you considering the churches numbers do not reflect this. This is because we are not doing what is needed to reach them.

Single adults range from the 18 year old that still lives at home to the 29 year old single parent who has never been married to the divorced dad with grown kids to the 58 never married now taking care of their mom to the 68 widower who lives alone. It’s not that you don’t have single adults in your church or community; it’s how to reach them. So where do you start? How do you find them? 1) Look at your existing membership/attendance rolls and see who is not married. Categorize by age, past marital status, if they have kids that live at home or grown, etc. 2) Contact your town/city and find out the demographics of those living within a 5 mile radius. Once you find out this information, it will help you in the direction of how to reach them. You may find out you have a lot of single mom’s or widows. Depending on what you have the most of could determine whom you try and reach and how to minister to them.

Please know I believe singles ministry is simply one way to bring singles into your church. The goal with all ministry is reach people for Christ, help grow them so they will in turn reach and grow others (single or married).

If we start one, I hear it will end up being a meat market. I love to always answer this question and say, “Yes, it sure will, they can meet Jesus.” Churches have a huge fear that their singles ministry will end up being focused only on finding a mate. My first thought is…”and where would you like us to find a mate…in a bar?” My second thought is…”who is leading your singles ministry?” Church as a whole can easily be a place to only be fed and healed from a physical standpoint. But didn’t Jesus use these ways to minister so he could get to the person’s heart? He would feed and heal the body so that he could later feed and heal the soul? So if your singles ministry is thriving and growing and people come to meet the opposite sex, then who cares? It’s up to you as a church, as a pastor to get them connected to the whole body of Christ. It’s up to you to get to know and build a relationship with them. And if they do find their spouse at your church, why would that be so horrible? The key to all of this is a solid foundation, structure, communication, building leaders and so on. The same way it would be for any ministry in your church that may meet someone’s emotional and physical needs first.

I have no idea where to start. Well, guess what? You can start with my ministry, The Singles Network. I lead the largest single adult leadership ministry in the country. My website has a ton of great resources to help you get started and keep going. Beside myself there are a ton of other great teachers, speakers, authors and pastors who are ready to help you as well. You can also call me at 919.434.3611 for help or attend one of my leadership retreats/conferences geared toward pastors, staff and leaders. Staring a single adult ministry is easy, it’s keeping it going that is tough. Because single adults are always on the move (whether getting married, moving into other parts of the Church or simply moving), the ministry can start off strong and begin to waiver. You have to learn how to keep your ministry going by growing leaders, expecting turnover, and change. The results can be phenomenal if you do.

I need to just focus on the traditional families like mine. I know it so much easier to just focus on what you know versus what you don’t know. I understand completely. I have never been married nor have children, yet I continue to have them cross my path as I lead singles. The solution? You build a team, a staff, and/or hire a pastor or director that does care and understands single adults.

We don’t have the resources. 
I realize hiring a pastor or director does cost money. However, training a lay leader to be under an existing pastor does not. Most single adults have a way to pay for the things they might need. I say this in all ministry, “just do less and allow the singles to do more.” So you aren’t able to underwrite a huge conference or retreat?  Well, do a one-day conference at another church. Well, you aren’t able to order those Bible studies you wanted for all the singles? Since when do we need the church to buy our Bible studies? Well, we can’t bring in that fabulous speaker named Kris Swiatocho. Well, you start with your own pastors and lay leadership to speak and build. Don’t ever let resources keep you from doing what God has called you to do. Please see my website for a list of speakers that might be local to your area.

I think its better to include singles in our overall ministry of the church and not separate them out.  More and more churches seem to be doing this not because they really believe it’s the best choice but because they don’t want to deal with or mess with reaching single adults. Singles ministry can be difficult and time consuming due to the various needs of singles. However, churches cannot ignore that all people have specific needs that cannot be ministered too with one method. This is why we have youth ministry, women’s, senior and so on. I also say, “Not all churches are called to have a singles ministry but all churches are called to minister to singles.” It’s not that you have to have this huge singles ministry with a pastor or director. It’s more about how you minister to singles that might have specific needs such as how to build relationships for friendship or marriage. Needs such as divorce recovery, being a single parent, finances, loneliness, etc. Single adult ministry isn’t separating singles out from the body but instead, helping them grow in their own walks that enhance the entire body of believers.
So what is the real issue? What it really comes down to are most pastors like you are men with traditional families. You have been married since your early twenties. You have no idea what is feels like to be single. As a result, you simply teach and move towards what you do know…others like yourself. Please know, I am not writing this to fuss at you, as I know being a pastor is hard. I simply want to educate you on the other half of our population that makes up our cities and towns. A population that is ready and willing to serve the Lord. A population that could use support, counsel and encouragement. A population that needs discipleship. A population, just like Jesus, the greatest single who ever lived, who can also do amazing things for the God if only given the chance.

I encourage you to start today, asking God if you have been reaching ALL for Christ. Asking God what you need to be doing to reach the single adults in your church and community. And please know, when you make the effort to pour into a single adult, you are impacting the family of the future.


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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.

  • Veronica

    I NEED A SINGLE MINISTRY THATS VIBRANT AND STRONG BECAUSE IM SO TIRED OF GOING TO CHURCHES AND BEING PART OF MINISTRIES THATS ONLY FOR WOMEN OR MOST MINISTRIES ARE WITH MARRIED WOMEN TRYING TO LOOK DOWN ON MY BECAUSE IM SINGLE NEVER MARRIED WITH 4 KIDS. I NEED A SINGLE PARENT GROUP THAT OFFER CHILDCARE DURING MEETINGS AND OFFER ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS AND I CAN GET MINISTERED TO. I WANTED KIDS, GOT KIDS, NOW I NEED A ANOTHER KIND OF APPROACH TO LIFE. NO MORE WOMEN MINISTRIES COMPOSED OF MOSTLY MARRIED WOMEN TALKING DOWN ON ME. SINGLE PARENT MINISTRIES WHERE ARE YOU???

  • Will

    I think you are right that the church generally does a poor job of ministering to singles. But I also generally do think it is better to include singles in the overall ministry of the church. I feel the same about men’s and women’s ministry. I think creating separate ministries for every major segment of the church leads to many problems. However, I agree that the church still needs to be intentional about loving and reaching out to every segment of the church.

  • Derek

    There are 3 main types of singles in the Church.
    1. Those who are single and wish to be so. For them, more power to them.
    2. Those who are single, but are indifferent to marriage. They say “if it happens, fine. If not, fine.”
    3. Those who, like Hannah, Sarah, Rachel, Rebekkah, etc., are all in extreme pain for the want of, not a child, but a spouse.

    Let’s focus on #3. For those, if the pain is real, then the Church leadership SHOULD address that pain. The Church should absolutely NOT, and I stress this point, NOT assume that these people are chosen by God to be single. They should also not assume that tenacity and persistence equals idolatry. Hannah begged God “year after year” for a son and Eli did not say, “Shame on you for your persistence” or “focus on God” or some similar platitude. Rather, he said, “May God grant you what you have asked of him.” THIS is what response the Church *should* give to those singles who approach Church leadership and ask, “Please pray for me because I want a husband or wife.”

    People have no qualms for prayer for a job. People have no issues with praying for the safety of a person deployed in the military. But if you dare ask for prayer for a husband or wife and they treat you as if you just asked them to pray that God will give you a trillion dollars. The default answer is, “Ummm, welll….” (pregnant pause).”

    Frankly, I’m getting really angry with Church leadership who are not only married (but that’s another issue), but fail to address the pain and needs of the single population. God’s template, laid down in Genesis 2, was for marriage, not singleness, despite Paul’s opinion that everyone should be single, mentioned in one of his letters. This was clearly not an edict or mandate from God because it would contradict “He who finds a wife, finds what is good, and receives favor from the Lord,” written by the wisest of all men, not to mention Gen 2.

    So my advice is simple:
    Single pastors, get off your butt and DO something for us singles. Pray WITH us. Pray FOR us. Pray OVER us, so that we might be receive the blessing of what YOU have, a spouse. Get together all 1000 singles that are in your church who are both single and don’t want to be, and invoke the name of God publicly, communally, and congregationally. Stop teaching ONLY generic Bible study lessons that have no relevance to singleness. If you bother to call your department the “Singles” department, but then do NOTHING to address our needs, then you are doing a horrible disservice for you demographic. There are 52 Sundays in a year. You can at least afford maybe 10 of those to be dedicated to lessons about loneliness, money (single person = one income), marriage, sexual issues (remember, single = no sex), and other REAL issues that we face on a daily, hourly basis.

    • christianpundit

      Derek, I totally agree with your post. Many Christians (usually the married ones, but also occasionally the pious Christian singles who are thrilled with being single) will shame you and give you guilt trips or horrid platitudes if you admit you would like to marry, or if you ask if they would pray that God send you a spouse. You will hear cliches from them such as “Jesus is all you need,” “be content in your singleness,” or some other cliche’.

      I thought I would have been married by now. I followed all the rules and advice since childhood (I accepted Christ as Savior in my childhood), when I was told by my Christian parents, by preachers, and in Christian books about relationships, that if I simply waited on God’s timing, prayed, and had faith, God would send me a spouse. I was engaged once, but I made it a bit past my 40s now and have still never married. Churches do nothing to help singles who are past their mid or late 20s.

      About the only point I might quibble with you a bit is on the whole paradgim of the value or marriage vs. singleness, or the way you portrayed that. I like to uphold what Paul said about singleness, because too many married Christian people denigrate singlehood.

      Christian culture has elevated marriage so much in our culture that they have turned it into an idol, and anyone who does not obtain that idol (meaning a spouse and kids) is looked down upon, treated like a loser or freak.

      Christians need to learn to respect singles while they are single, to respect the state of singlehood itself, or, for the adults who deliberately choose to remain single their entire lives, they need to respect that choice as well, because God says He respects singleness (He says that via Paul).

      I don’t fit in anywhere in most Christian discussions on these topics. I am single, but at the same time, I desire marriage. I don’t want to be ignored by churches and Christian culture while I am single, nor do I wish to be treated like a loser freak by other Christians while I am single, -but at the same time-, I do NOT want my desire for marriage shamed, nor do I want to be made to feel as though I’m being selfish or wrong for wanting or seeking marriage.

      I too have noticed what you have- that Christians are fine with prayer for any topic under the sun, whether it’s for finances, healing of cancer, or what have you, EXCEPT for the unmarried person who makes a prayer request for a spouse. Christians will pray for anything except sending someone a spouse.

      Then, all the sudden, the response is, “wanting to get married is idolatry! I will pray instead that you find contentment in your single state.”

      About the only other group of Christians I see who get that similar treatment are infertile married Christian women who want to get pregnant; they sometimes get fed the cliched, obnoxious “be content as you are” comments, or, “just go serve in the nursery to satisfy your baby desires” lectures.

      But other than that, no other group is treated quite as horribly in Christian circles as never- married adults who are past the age of 35, and following at a close second are the widows, widowers, and the divorced.

      I have noticed that church members will cry buckets of tears, and spend a fortune on, ministering to homeless crack addicts, strippers, teen aged kids, and orphans in Africa, but won’t so much as lift a finger to help adult singles – whether that is spending more on adult singles ministries, praying for singles that God send them a spouse, helping them financially, inviting them over for meals on holidays, etc, whatever.

      I also agree with you that it would not kill preachers to sermonize on topics that are meaningful to singles. As it stands now, most preachers give far, far too many “how to have a great marriage” lectures, or “how to spice up your sex life” sermons. It’s completely nauseating how frequently preachers cater and pander to married couples but won’t do squat for adult singles.

      I went into more detail in a post about some of these things farther down this page in response to another person (though that post is now sitting in moderation), if you would like to see that (assuming that post ever gets approved to appear).

      • Derek

        Christianpundit, I hope I did not come across as denigrating singleness. Perhaps it sounded that way because I lauded marriage so much, but then that’s my own personal perspective. Like I said, more power to those who are single and wish to be so.

        You mentioned that infertile married Christian women are treated similarly. Actually, I deliberately left out this group because I have personally witnessed the senior pastor of a large Baptist church, pause during a Sunday morning sermon, and deliberately offer up a congregation prayer for those women present in the church that day. This was not just his personal prayer, but a collective and pastor-led prayer that those who wanted a child, would have one by that time next year. I am sure that, in many churches, barren women are treated as you say.

        Imagine if I turned the tables and said, “well, rather than pray that your mother will be healed, I think I will just pray that you will be comforted with her death” or “well, we don’t know if your brother is meant to die in combat, so we can’t pray for his safe return.” If I, or someone else, did that, I’d probably get punched, or at least ostracized. Unfortunately, that type of argumentation doesn’t work a lot of times.

        One church minister objected to the idea of creating something for the singles with this argument, “You have to be careful because many of those who are currently single went through painful divorces.” Umm, hello? This is the logical equivalent of saying, “I am strongly opposed to teaching driver’s education to children because many of those children’s parents died in car accidents.”

        I sure hope that some singles pastors, or better, some senior pastors are reading these comments. I said it once and I will say it again in hopes of getting it across.

        Pastors, get up off your butts and HELP us. We want wives. We want husbands. Many of us are suffering in pain. Do I want you to become our matchmaker? NO! That’s God’s job. Don’t make it yours. But what you can and should do is pray with us, pray for us, and pray over us, that those of us who are and no longer wish to be, will be blessed with the pleasures of marriage. And make sure you do it publicly, openly, congregationally, not on a Thursday night in a disused room in the basement of the church, or worse, off site.

        • christianpundit

          While prayer by and from other Christians is good in helping single Christians to marry, I would actually like to see practical steps taken to help singles who desire marriage to get married.

          I was raised when younger to be very passive about marriage, to believe if I just prayed and waited, that God would send Mr. Right across my path, but the older I’ve gotten, I’ve started to wonder if more human intervention is not called for.

          I personally would be grateful if fellow Christians would act as matchmakers. (I’ve tried dating sites, and they don’t work for me.)

          Of course, if Christians do act as matchmakers, they should ask the unmarried person for permission first, because some singles resent being set up on dates. But some of us would appreciate the help.

          Also, potential matchmakers should ask for a list of preferences or “cannot stands” if they are going to go into matchmaking mode. I have heard too many horror stories by single Christian women who were set up by well-meaning married Christian women with sinlge men who were all wrong for them.

          (I for one would not feel comfortable dating a guy over 5 or 6 years my senior, for example. I would not appreciate someone trying to fix 40 year old me up with a 70 year old guy.)

          Churches spend hardly next to nothing on adult singles ministries. IMHO, churches should pay for and hold singles mixers – social events – on weekends, not just for singles from their own church, but maybe invite adult singles from churches all over the area, where singles can meet and greet.

          But preachers and the larger group of Christians need to do something. There is a problem going on in the nation with a ton of us adult singles who want to get married, but we are having a very difficult time meeting adult singles in our age range.

          The single Christian women outnumber single Christian men. A lot of single Christian males do not attend church, either. You’re really forced into using dating sites, but dating sites are not the magical solution a lot of married Christians think they are.

          I am so tired of waiting for a Christian Mr Right to show up, and there seem to be so few Christian single guys, that I am now considering dating and marrying a Non Christian guy.

          Churches just do not care about the prolonged singleness problem that has been going on now for over ten years. It’s amazing.

          Married Christians and preachers complain and gripe about how singles are not getting married, but when we singles say we do want to marry, they scold us for being selfish, for supposedly “idolizing” marriage, tell us to “be content” and do nothing to help us get married.

          • Derek

            >I would actually like to see practical steps taken to help
            >singles who desire marriage to get married.

            Prayer is practical. In fact, it should be the first option, not the last ditch effort. After all, which do you think would accomplish more – trying to find a spouse on your own, or allowing God to find one for you. God is the penultimate matchmaker. He knows every single nuance in what makes you and your spouse tick. God knows the perfect person for you. Many people balk at the term “perfect” when talking about husbands and wives. I thoroughly understand there is no such thing as a perfect moral specimen of a human. However, the gift itself is the thing that is perfect. “Every good and perfect gift is from above,” says the Word of God. In other words, to receive a gift from God, whether that gift is a job or a wife, that gift is perfect.

            My church, and every church I’ve attended seems to go about it this way:
            1. Form social get-together for the singles (e.g. dance, outing, dinner, etc.)
            2. Stir
            3. Hope that some marriages spring forth
            4. Leave God out of the process.

            Um, that’s fine, but if God created marriage, let’s involve God heavily in the process. If the wedding is the public creation of the marriage, and if the wedding is performed in the church, then the church should be involved in the process.

            >I’ve started to wonder if more human intervention is not called for.

            Which is more practical, human intervention or divine intervention? I agree with you that any good intentioned attempt to be a matchmaker by a Christian for a Christian should be preceded with permission. However, listing what you like and dislike leads to other problems I’ve noticed. Once the “matchmaker” hears the list, they usually launch into impugn-mode, to challenge your list. They hear the list and the first word out of their mouth is, “Wellll……” They hear the list and start picking it apart.

            I recently heard of a singles conference held in the UK last month (Sep 2013) where singles were allowed to share their experiences with each other. That’s fantastic. The more discussion about this issue, the better. What they need to do though is to gather together in one room all singles who no longer wish to be single (remember, there is power in collective prayer, cf. Acts 2). Then publicly invoke the name of God in collective and communal prayer, and request that each person there who is in pain for the want of a wife or husband, would be blessed with their hearts’ desire. But the church says, “Oh NO! We can’t have that.” And yet, churches seem to find time for weight loss classes, finance classes, parenting classes, etc. Perhaps what needs to be done is to gather together several hundred brothers and sisters in Christ who all want to be married and approach their church, en masse, and request that it be done. It’s more difficult for them to say no to 500 people than to one lonely person wanting to rock the boat.

            I don’t understand why church’s need to pay for such things. How hard is it to simply ask singles to come in to the church on a Saturday night to collectively pray for a wife or husband? Don’t over think or over-cost things, I feel like telling them.

            You mentioned (and other articles at this site) that churches complain that singles are not getting married. Actually, after carefully observing the goings-on in the singles ministries at churches I’ve been to, I’ve never observed any *active* complaining. Quite to the contrary, I don’t see any discussion either way. No positive comments. No negative comments. It’s simply not discussed at all. Bible study lessons in the Singles ministry are generic. Lessons are just as appropriate in a singles ministry as in a married ministry or a senior adult ministry. Lessons are NEVER tailored for the singles demographic.

            > they scold us for being selfish, for supposedly “idolizing”
            >marriage, tell us to “be content” and do nothing to help us get married.

            Any person who tells you to wait or be patient, but they themselves did NOT wait, has a double standard. Typically, advice comes from marrieds. And worse, they frequently did not save their virginity for their spouses. So not only do they have no right to tell us to wait, they didn’t even wait for their own spouses. This is the reason why I am saving my very first kiss for my wife at the altar, and not one moment sooner.

            I understand your difficulties and pain, but I strongly advise against dating (or worse) marrying a non-Christian. I know the situation looks bleak when you look at the numbers and statistics, e.g. there are more women…etc. However, when God enters the picture, statistics go out the window. You could be living in a town of 10 people and somehow, the Creator of the Universe could still find a way to provide the perfect husband for you. It’s ridiculous to think that the same God who has the power to stop the Earth from rotating on its axis (See Joshua 10) cannot find for anyone the ideal spouse.

            I would encourage you to fill out prayer responses cards (most churches keep prayer quiet and secret, not open and public) and ask for prayer for a husband. Be bold! Don’t let anyone discourage you from wanting a husband, and wanting a SPECIFIC husband if you so wish. Be persistent. Fill out the cards every single Sunday, or more. Be like the man banging on his neighbor’s door in the middle of the night in Luke 11. Jesus never admonished persistence. In fact, he demanded it.

          • christianpundit

            Hi. I don’t have time right now to read your whole post, I was only going to reply at this time to your comments about prayer. Of course I prayed for a spouse, it was my first line of activity. But it did not work.

            I prayed from the time I was age 10 or 11, through my 20s and beyond, and I’m still single in my 40s. God – if he exists, I am no longer so sure – apparently does not care to get involved as “matchmaker” for people who are Christians.

            If I keep sitting about only “praying,” I shall never get a spouse. I used to naively believe promises of Scripture (and many preachers I heard also shared this view) that if only you pray, wait, have faith, that God will give you whatever you ask, but I’m afraid that is not true, have no idea why Jesus Christ uttered those words (‘whatever you ask in my name it will be done’).

            The simple fact is, you can pray in faith for decades for a spouse and God won’t get off his butt and send you one.

            Getting married is kinda like getting a college degree: if you want one, you have to go out and get one. If you pray, “Oh Lord, do send me a college degree,” it’s not going to happen. You have to enroll in college, drive to the campus daily, and take classes and study if you want to earn a degree. God is not going to just hand you a degree or accredit you with one.

            There are many, many Christian women my age in the same situation: they prayed their little hearts out for a husband and are STILL single.

            So I find your recommendation for “more prayer” useless, a bit insensitive, and naive. Single women have already tried prayer, and prayer did not work.

            Also, if you read books such as “Quitting Church” by Julia Duin, you will find interviews in there with people who got married only AFTER they joined dating sites, or a friend set them up for dates, etc.

            Their years of prayer did not get them a spouse, but them asking a friend to fix them up on a date or what not did help, or using a dating site.

            It’s a little, I dunno, insensitive and unrealistic to tell an over- 40 year old such as myself who has prayed for a husband since age 10 to “keep it up.” No thanks.

            I’ve already changed the dating status on my dating profiles form “Christian men only” to “Atheist or whomever” . I will also be hitting bars and nightclubs in the future.

            Sitting about praying and waiting = failing strategy. We have an expression in America, that it is the definition of insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

            Time to change strategy for me, no more prayer, but lots of nightclubbing, dating sites, etc., considering Non Christian men.

            Christian men are no better than Non Christian men in the morality department.

            I keep a list on my blog of news stories of many Christian men (some are even preachers) who have been arrested for child molesting, stealing, drug dealing, murder, rape, and one guy, a Baptist preacher, was found by police to be a serial killer!

            I also have many stories on my blog of Christian men who are porn addicts, cheated on their wives. I see no advantage in marrying a Christian person, since they seem no more ethical than an average Non Christian.

            I appreciate your taking the time to reply and suppose you meant well, but I have already tried some of your advice, and at my age, I find some of your advice, well, rather naive.

          • Derek

            Christianpundit, if your belief in God in dependent on whether you receive from God what you ask, then you’ve misunderstood Scripture. If you take God out of the picture, then what is the POINT of getting married? Go live, drink, eat and be merry for tomorrow we die. Go to eastern Europe or the Philippines and buy a husband, or simply pay for a lover off the street. If there is no life after death, no Heaven, no God, then who cares what you do with your life now. When you die, you’re worm food.

            However, the evidence is overwhelming that there is a God and He is not a cosmic vending machine, nor is He a celestial grinch, who wants to take your fun away and make life miserable. Quite to the contrary, Jesus makes it very clear that God wants to pour out blessings until we cannot hold them anymore.

            > Getting married is kinda like getting a college degree

            No it is not. College degrees are not people. There is no reciprocation with a degree, or a car, or a job. If there is no MUTUAL attraction, there isn’t much point to marriage. Granted, every time that Hebrews 11 lists the great people of faith, they DID something. If you read through that passage, you will see a pattern. Abraham had faith and he WENT…. Moses had faith and he , Jacob had faith and he . And so on. You don’t find someone in that passage where it says, “So-n-so had faith, and sat on his butt”. But you’re wrong if you say that God does not provide spouses. If you were correct, Eve would never have been created. Nor would have the wives of Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Peter, Joshua, and so on. God may not drop one into your lap, but He might. That’s not my call.

            To say that God does not care is the height of arrogance. It presumes that you know Him better than He does. You have no idea what He’s thinking because you can’t see the cover of the puzzle box. Nor can any one of us.

            >So I find your recommendation for “more prayer” useless,

            >a bit insensitive, and naive. Single women have already tried

            >prayer, and prayer did not work.

            How the hell do they know it didn’t work? They’re still alive! Life ain’t over yet. Prayer is never useless. Nor is telling someone to pray insensitive or naive.

            >It’s a little, I dunno, insensitive and unrealistic to tell an over- 40 year

            >old such as myself who has prayed for a husband since age 10 to “keep it up.”

            As an unkissed virgin, I’ve EARNED the right to say that. If I were married, or had soiled my virginity in high school or college, like millions of others in the U.S., I would not have the right to tell anyone else to wait. As someone who has waited “year after year” to quote the author of 1 Samuel 1, for a wife, I have every right to tell someone else to wait. I know that WE (yes, we) don’t like to hear it, but what other choice do you have? Be very careful that you don’t wind up like Rachel who said, “Give me children or else I die.” She got her wish. She got her children and she died.

            >We have an expression in America, that it is the definition of insanity

            >to keep doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

            There is one problem with this. It’s based on the false notion that you ARE doing the same thing over and over again. In fact, you may very well not be, even though it appears as if you are. There are too many variables at play for you to believe this. Jesus prayed THREE times in the garden of Gethsemane to not go through death. Why three? Why not just once? If ever there was someone who could just pray one time and receive, it was Jesus. And yet he prayed more than once. But more importantly, if you think that God is somehow bound to the laws of physics or time, you’ve misunderstood Scripture. If you read Scripture and think that God can heal a blind man, or a deaf person, or bring someone back to life, or create planets at will, but can’t stop your aging process, or make you young again so that you can spend your youth with your husband, this is being intellectually inconsistent.

            Remember, we are meant to be naive, if, by naive you mean innocent or unworldly or childlike. Remember, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” And guess what the Greek word for “never” means. It means never. He also said to be as wise as a serpent, but as innocent as a dove. So if you call me naive, I’ll take that as a compliment.

            I agree with you that some Christian leaders or priests, pastors, and ministers are flaming hypocrites. They steal and murder and commit adultery. But you would make a mistake if you are basing your trust and faith in THEM, and not God and His Christ.

          • Prudence Dagg

            Christianpundit, I am so sorry you are going through this. I would highly recommend Candice Watters’s Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help It Happen. Debbie Maken’s Getting Serious about Getting Married: Rethinking the Gift of Singleness is also good, in a way, but a little too male-bashing, I think.

    • Leilani

      This comment. So much win.

    • Kathryn

      I was told God called me to be single but was also told he’s my husband Smh no he’s not
      I was told Jesus was all I need from people who were married and lived otherwise
      I was condemned for praying for a spouse
      I get so angry at other Christians who elevate themselves and tell others WHAT THEY THINK God called you to do . That single calling killed me emotionally and has really ruined my life
      I can’t have kids and was told God wanted me to adopt Smh

      Too many married people shove their marriages into your face too !!!

      This one radio host totally ignores single Christians and its all about the marrieds with kids crowd . Ok not all of us who are single are shacking up ! Some of us actually dont havd someone !! I’m 38 and been single my whole life ! No doubt the devil and other christoans stole my happiness and joy!!!

      • Derek

        I agree with you Kathryn when you say that people should not put words in God’s mouth and presume to know what God’s plan is for a particular person’s life.

        I’m sorry to hear that you’ve encountered so much vitriol from other followers of Christ. I recommend that in the future, continue praying for a husband. Do not give up. Ever. Publicly request prayer. Don’t shy away from that. If you are laughed at, like I was, ignore it. Or, you could laugh at their prayer requests to help teach them of their own double standard. Then they’ll understand….hopefully.

    • Kathryn

      1 more thing . Quit using I cor 7 As basis for God calling one to be single . Its beyond me why many Christians are Imposing singlness on singles and wanting them to embrace being single
      For one coming from someone who’s not single Is hypocrisy and double standard to me ! God didn’t call them to be single but did me ?

      Also this one Christian radio host , who Is single , sent me a whole pamphlet With failed attempts of bible verses , I cor 7 included , about beimg single and how God prefers it
      God ? Paul did ! God and Paul are not the same person !!!

      Paul has Really ruined me too

      Bottom line – quit forcing singlness on those who dont want to be single
      Quit the platitudes , off topic bible verses or stories of other relatives who are single

      Yes you church people ! Been angry at you for decades !!

      • Derek

        I agree with you also when differentiate between Paul and God. Paul was merely expressing his own opinion in a letter to the church at Corinth, which may have been heavily biased by the times in which Paul was living. Corinth was heavily corrupted sexually.

        Furthermore, if Paul is correct, then all mankind would vanish after one generation because no marriage = no children = no more people. Duh.

        Furthermore, if Pau’s opinion was a mandate for all, then it would then contradict God’s mandate, which was laid down in Genesis 2 when God declared that man’s aloneness was NOT good. In fact, it was the very first thing that was declared to be not good.

        Furthermore, Adam walked and talked with God, alone in the garden of Eden. Who else in history was that close to God, aside from Jesus? And yet, still God saw something wrong with that arrangement, and created Eve.

        Furthermore, one of the signs of the end times, written about in 1 Timothy 4:3, was the forbidding of marriage. So those people who think that all people should be single…not good.

        Lastly, Paul didn’t “ruin” you.

  • kat

    please don’t refer to divorced people as being single – its false advertising and misleading. one who is divorced has been married before. single is one who has never been married

    • Derek

      Depends on the reason for divorce. Jesus gave 4 legitimate reasons for divorce, including death, abandonment, and unfaithfulness. Those people are released from the vow and are allowed to marry again.

  • Jonathan

    As a single never-married man now into my early 40s I have noticed that there are only a few groups that the church as a whole focus on: married people, children, teenagers and the elderly. If they do have a single’s ministry it usually cuts off at about age 25..like they expect any people over 25 to be married. When I grew up in church I was given the impression that it was unspiritual to look for a mate in church or for church to be a “meat-market”. This is damaging to the church because where else are we expected to find a godly mate? Should we use the methods of the world? No, we SHOULD be finding them in church but we’re ignored. I want to get married and have a family of my own but so far I am getting no help from the church and left to my own devices I am foreseeing a lifetime of singleness which is, for me, a lifetime of misery and lonliness. If the church wants to show they value the traditional family and protect marriage, start with helping us slightly older never-marrieds find spouses in church.

    • christianpundit

      I agree with your entire post, Jonathan. I’m about the same age as you, I have never married but wanted to be married and thought for sure I would have been married by now, but I am a woman.

      I was taught by my Christian parents that I could expect to find a Christian spouse in church, and/or, if I prayed and asked God to send me a spouse, He would send me one.

      I am very put off and annoyed by Christians who argue it is selfish, unseemly, sleazy, or unscriptural for a Christian single to hope to find a spouse in church – it’s usually married Christians who make those arguments, but on occasion, I see pious, overly spiritual, holier than thou Christian singles make the same points. I don’t see anything in the Bible against a single meeting a mate in a local body of believers (church).

      On the other hand, and I am sorry if I sound – snotty?- here, but out of the few singles classes I’ve been to at a few churches and/or seen online, there are not many never married males (or heck, even divorced ones!) in my age range that attend, and when I do show up to a single class at a church, a lot of singles I see – both the males and females – are, …to put this delicately…, physically unattractive and/or socially awkward (downright dorky or weird).

      Of course, not all Christian adult singles are dumpy, weird, frumpy, or have “issues” or baggage, but some of the ones who are “regulars” in church singles classes do seem to fall somewhere on that spectrum, which may be causing the more more stable or attractive folks to stay away.

      A lot of Christian singles I see when I visit churches singles classes, who are over the age of 35, are quite frumpy looking, or terribly overweight. I work hard to stay in shape and look nice, meaning I jog regularly, keep my weight down, fix my hair when I go out, and wear makeup to church.

      I have asked before on my blog (hosted on Word Press and called “Christian Pundit” -though since starting that blog a couple years ago, I now lean a little towards being an agnostic; I’ve not decided if I will stay in the Christian faith. I did accept Christ as my savior when I was a child, though), but I have asked on my blog before, for the Christians who whine that singles should not try to meet a mate in church, where do they advise a Christian single to go, a nudie bar?

      Would Christians really prefer single women to hang out at strip joints, dives, and bars to pick up single men? I do not have an extensive social network of friends who can fix me up with single men.

      The cliched response by Christians when I ask when and how I can meet single men is usually to “try a dating site,” which I have done before, but those don’t always work. There are a lot of creeps and weirdos, or guys I am just not interested in, on dating sites.

      But your married friends will always point to the one anecdotal example of their best friend, Susie Q., who met her husband Barney W., on “eDate” type site.

      I, like you, have also observed that churches cut off any meaningful ministries to singles around the early or mid twenties mark. If you are past your late 20s, churches have nothing for you to do, they have nothing for singles.

      Churches of many denominations are still behaving as though it’s still 1953 and every one gets married by the time they are 25 years of age. 44% of the American adult population is now single, but this fact seems to go ignored by churches, or they simply do not care, and I don’t get it. I do not understand their apathy.

      I have also given up on the biblical old chestnut “be yoked only to another believer”, because there are hardly any Christian guys out there my age. If I am to wait around to be yoked to another believer, I will die alone.

      I also see news story after story of so-called Christian men (some are married!) who are arrested for fraud, child molesting, spousal abuse, etc. I have known plenty of decent Non-Christian men. I don’t see why I (or any single female raised as a Christian) should limit their dating pool to only Christian men anymore, and I do not care what the Bible says about “being yoked.”

      Where you say, “If the church wants to show they value the traditional family and protect marriage, start with helping us slightly older never-marrieds find spouses in church.”

      I totally agree! Churches and preachers and conservative Christian think tanks bray and whine about delayed age of first marriages, or lack of marriages, but when you, a single, freely admit to wanting marriage, they shame you for it!

      If you tell another Christian that you are tired of being single and want a spouse, the average preacher, of Christian married lay person, will tell you something like “be content in your singleness,” “Jesus is all you need,” “God doesn’t care about your earthly happiness, just think about eternity,” or some other platitude, and they will refuse to pray for you to gain a spouse, they will refuse to set you up on dates with eligible singles, etc.

      If Christians care so dang much about traditional marriage and they keep saying they do, why are they not helping single adults who desire marriage to get married?

      Why do they only keep appealing and ministering to those Christians who are ALREADY married or obsessing on how to attract and retain teen aged kids?

    • Prudence Dagg

      So sorry to hear that, Jonathan. I know of more resources for women who would like to be married, but I would suggest talking to some couples you *really* trust and already know well (so they will understand you as a multifaceted person) and indicate your interest in meeting a nice Christian single lady. The landscape for how people meet and marry has changed, and it is NOT working that well for this generation…there is nothing wrong whatsoever with getting someone in your corner! To my understanding, we used to have whole communities for this.

      There’s so much I could say about this, but please…utilize community. I think this is the best way to find women who won’t be too gun-shy and skittish, as some may be if you approach them as a stranger at a store, etc. (I used to be that type). Don’t feel (too) bad if the first lady you meet is not a good match. Don’t feel bad about your desire to seek a real relationship, not just play this “Oh wow, we were just friends and I had no idea” game. And feel free to reject out of hand any advice that either shames you for still being single because “You’re the man” (again, there are complex layers to our society and our messed-up way of doing things now) OR that shames you for desiring and pursuing a wife. Someone who wants you to pretend you’re just waiting for her to fall into your lap is going outside the Bible.

      Look up Matt Chandler’s sermons on marriage/ men getting married. I find his comments very helpful, not nasty and condemning (though I guess some of it is directed at ladies).

  • Sincerity

    I agree that this post is spot on. I have lived in a few states and visited more churches that I can remember. I have been in all kinds of ministries and I have been in small groups with married couples, elderly, widows, and young adults.

    My argument is this: If the church is going to make ministries for kids, divorcees, parents with grown kids, etc. etc. why don’t they have a ministry for the singles beyond college years who have to deal with all the hardships of life alone?

    And the idea of mocking singles because they’re looking for a spouse in church has been thrown in my face a few times too. I hate that attitude. First of all I don’t go to church to find a spouse. Finding one there would be awesome, but I go to obey God’s will for His children. I do it out of obedience.

    It is, however, a very lonely experience many times because singles generally have nowhere to go. If you don’t help babysit the children or perform an instrument in a band, orchestra, or sing then there really isn’t anything you can do. But hey, maybe you should leave the country as a missionary… as if a missionary is only someone who goes over seas and not someone who speaks of Jesus Christ where they work.

    The church is failing miserably in this area and unfortunately number of singles are growing in every city. What is the church going to do when their kids can’t find a spouse anywhere or decide to stop going to church all together?

    • Prudence Dagg

      Sincerity, I am not sure from your post if you would categorize yourself as someone who would like to be married in the next couple of years or who is fine with being single. If the former, I left some comments on Jonathan’s comment, above, that I hope may be helpful. I wish there were more resources from a man’s perspective.

  • John

    This is so absolutely true. The last church I attended disbanded their singles ministry after a group of old women decided it was comprised of people “with problems” as one of them put it. They wanted everyone to get married, because people over 25 who are not married are somehow defective in their minds. It was the only church in town which did anything for singles; now there are none. Not even the two largest churches have anything; even “small groups” for people who are out of college but still single.

    It is sad because there are a lot of lonely, single Christians who find it very hard to meet someone because the church doesn’t really want or care about them.

    • robert

      Now dont blame not meeting others on the church…you have the power and time to conduct your own social life with some initiative. Church is an assembly of believers, not a social planner for specific groups. Get out there.
      Jesus walked and ate with all people not just a church group.

      • Tim

        By your logic, we need to do away with all ministries. Stop doing any kids’ ministries. You have the power and time to teach your own kids with some initiative. Church is an assembly of believers, not a daycare.

        • Derek

          Precisely. Also, if a church has a prayer group for those who have lost jobs, one could say, “the church is an assembly of believers, not a job placement center.” ALL needs can be brought before the church, not just those that are approved and socially acceptable.

      • christianpundit

        That was a very rotten and insensitive answer, robert.

        The church exists to meet the needs of everyone, and that includes unmarried Christians who desire marriage. Churches should be helping singles who want to get married to meet potential suitors – they do this in other churches in other countries (the preachers in churches overseas often play as “matchmaker,” so I have read in books and blogs about Christian singleness).

        Also, robert, a lot of married Christian couples use churches to meet set up play dates with other married couples, they will chat with each other before and during church services and at church sponsored luncheons and dinners.

        Married couples will invited other married couples over for lunch or dinner while at church. Why do married people get to use churches to meet, greet, make friends, and mingle, but you are saying that singles should not? That is hypocritical.

        Also, women like me were taught as Christian teen girls that the one place we should look for a husband was at a church, not at a night club or a bar.

        • Prudence Dagg

          I am sorry, christianpundit. As a married person who promotes marriage, I frequently run into the same attitude: that marriage should “just happen” or that we should act like it “just happens,” and heaven forbid you take steps, ESPECIALLY at church, to meet anyone, or admit that marriage may be kind of a big deal to you. In fact, I think the married are quick to suggest that anyone else who’d like to be married is “making an idol” of it.

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