Is the church obligated to do anything with singles?

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.

Lighthearted

Senior Member
Oct 17, 2016
1,233
355
83
49
#21
In my many decades of going to many, many churches I have yet to see a church do anything for singles.

Most churches I notice offer many things for dating, how to run your family, kids, marriage and the likes. For singles it's now and then they preach on the matter and when they do it's usually 1 Corinthians 7 which I don't call word of God but Peter's thought on the subject.
Not saying it is not valid at all, but his opinion on being single.

Through the Bible talks about couples, being equally yoked and this and that. Genesis 2:18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper (help meet) suitable for him."

I have emailed many churches if they offer anything for older singles and most times they never reply to me or tell me there should be other churches out there that would.

I have been to local 'christian singles +45' events and most times its like 9 men and 4 women and they are over 70 and act very closed to new people.

From what I see there is a handful of singles here and there in each church, but still I feel I'm swept under the rug. Out of sight, out of mind kind of thing.

I live in the PNW and the guy/gal ratio is like 7:1.

I know being in a relationship is not easy for the most part and takes work, but I think if she was like minded it would be worth the effort.

So is there something the church should consider about singles?
I agree, it wouldn't make a lot of sense for a church with so few singles to have something for singles. If there are a few though, especially if they're around the same age as yourself...it wouldn't hurt to approach them and ask them if they would be interested in having a small, singles, Bible study of some sort. If there's interest, take it to your Pastor. You could meet once a month for coffee and a Bible study and perhaps your group would grow if you encouraged others to bring single friends.
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,233
1,264
113
#22
I agree, it wouldn't make a lot of sense for a church with so few singles to have something for singles.
Conversely, it doesn't make sense for singles to go to church if there's nothing offered for singles. And there's the difficulty. Well half the difficulty, the other half is how do you program for people based on their lack of being married without becoming just another dating service? I know the questions. If I knew the answers I would be rich.
 

Lighthearted

Senior Member
Oct 17, 2016
1,233
355
83
49
#23
Conversely, it doesn't make sense for singles to go to church if there's nothing offered for singles. And there's the difficulty. Well half the difficulty, the other half is how do you program for people based on their lack of being married without becoming just another dating service? I know the questions. If I knew the answers I would be rich.
There's plenty of reason for singles to go to church and have a Pastor and fellowship with other Christians.
Some people find that belonging to a smaller group that they have more commonalities with can be beneficial and focus topics for discussion based on those.. No different than groups of parents, married couples, young adults, teens, etc.
There is certainly Biblical information for living a single life as well. If God felt it necessary to include it in the Bible, is it not worth sharing and contemplating among those to whom it is written?
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,233
1,264
113
#24
There's plenty of reason for singles to go to church and have a Pastor and fellowship with other Christians.
Some people find that belonging to a smaller group that they have more commonalities with can be beneficial and focus topics for discussion based on those.. No different than groups of parents, married couples, young adults, teens, etc.
There is certainly Biblical information for living a single life as well. If God felt it necessary to include it in the Bible, is it not worth sharing and contemplating among those to whom it is written?
Just to clairfy here, I'm not saying singles shouldn't go to church. My point was that when you say it wouldn't make sense for churches with few singles to have anything specifically for singles, I'm saying that part of the reason those churches have so few singles is because they're not offering anything for singles or worse it seems like they're offering something for everyone but singles. But there's very little consensus or clarity among even most singles (at least that's been my experience) about what exactly they'd like the church to offer.
 

Locoponydirtman

Well-known member
Oct 9, 2018
2,263
1,367
113
Texas
#25
In my many decades of going to many, many churches I have yet to see a church do anything for singles.

Most churches I notice offer many things for dating, how to run your family, kids, marriage and the likes. For singles it's now and then they preach on the matter and when they do it's usually 1 Corinthians 7 which I don't call word of God but Peter's thought on the subject.
Not saying it is not valid at all, but his opinion on being single.

Through the Bible talks about couples, being equally yoked and this and that. Genesis 2:18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper (help meet) suitable for him."

I have emailed many churches if they offer anything for older singles and most times they never reply to me or tell me there should be other churches out there that would.

I have been to local 'christian singles +45' events and most times its like 9 men and 4 women and they are over 70 and act very closed to new people.

From what I see there is a handful of singles here and there in each church, but still I feel I'm swept under the rug. Out of sight, out of mind kind of thing.

I live in the PNW and the guy/gal ratio is like 7:1.

I know being in a relationship is not easy for the most part and takes work, but I think if she was like minded it would be worth the effort.

So is there something the church should consider about singles?
Sounds like a tough row to hoe but that you are just the Joe to hoe it.
When we find a big need or lack in ministry it's usually a good sighn that you are being asked to do a job.
So while I say church is for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, it looks like there is a ministry job for you.
 

Raffie

New member
Oct 7, 2018
19
7
3
#26

SweetStars

Active member
Oct 6, 2018
110
97
28
29
Arizona
#27
I perfectly understand what you mean, for me is just that the amount of single people that go alone to Church because they want to learn more about God, grow closer to God and grow spiritually is extremely big. I always go alone to Church being the only christian in my family, i have to go alone to Church i see all the people with their families and friends, i know my reason for kept going is for God, that is a never changing reality but it makes me sad, i would like to make more Christian friends, to have other people to pray with, to read The Bible together, to learn and grow spiritually together, but everything is only for families. So yeah, the problem of not single events is much more deeper that one may think.
 

Oncefallen

Idiot in Chief
Staff member
Jan 15, 2011
5,548
1,674
113
#28
Sounds like a tough row to hoe but that you are just the Joe to hoe it.
When we find a big need or lack in ministry it's usually a good sighn that you are being asked to do a job.
So while I say church is for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, it looks like there is a ministry job for you.
My thoughts exactly. Most churches that have a thriving young adults or singles group, that group was started by and "owned" by persons within that group.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
15,355
3,023
113
#29
I go to church because I need it. I learn a lot and work at applying it to my life.
Just want the singles to get 'some' recognition.
For the past few years I get foggy brain / blank brain. Think it might be related.

Here is some interesting reading - https://www.missioalliance.org/lonely-sunday-single-christians-and-the-churchs-opportunity/
I read the article and it does well at pointing out the problems, from the "singleness is a problem that needs to be fixed" attitude and "singles are extras that we can shove off unwanted jobs on" to "singles don't feel they are a part of the church." (Although I might have to sue the author for copyright infringement... "Being single is not something broken that needs to be fixed" is MY line!) :p

But the only solution the article gives is that it is up to the individual members of the church to go out of their way to include singles in their lives. Instead of a problem that needs to be fixed, "single" becomes a charity case, the responsibility of the church members who are parts of families to reach out to singles and ease their loneliness and disengagement. While this may be efficacious in single, isolated instances I don't think it's a panacea for the problem.
 

trofimus

Senior Member
Aug 17, 2015
10,684
779
113
#30
Yeah, church is obligated to keep people single as long as possible, because to marry means to lost much of time for Christ, as Paul says. Who is married, worries about this world. Therefore its in the oposition of what the church seeks ;-)
 

Raffie

New member
Oct 7, 2018
19
7
3
#31
Yeah, church is obligated to keep people single as long as possible, because to marry means to lost much of time for Christ, as Paul says. Who is married, worries about this world. Therefore its in the oposition of what the church seeks ;-)
I had a few churches I asked about a singles bible study.
They said "Well, you need to do it all and at your house. As a church and while it is good intent, we will not endorse this since it is not a church function." Translated - we a scared of law suits and getting a bad rep over this.
Other churches said "we'll get back with you on this..." (10+ years later still waiting.)
Also have never had a church ever call me to see how I am if I have not been there, even thought I spent years there.
Pretty obvious where their focus is.
They fawn over the 99 sheep and ignore the 1 sheep.

So I now go to church and after service just go home.
People don't even make eye contact with me unless to hand me a church bulletin. This is MANY churches that do this, just not one.
We truly live in a very different generation.
 

trofimus

Senior Member
Aug 17, 2015
10,684
779
113
#32
I had a few churches I asked about a singles bible study.
They said "Well, you need to do it all and at your house. As a church and while it is good intent, we will not endorse this since it is not a church function." Translated - we a scared of law suits and getting a bad rep over this.
Other churches said "we'll get back with you on this..." (10+ years later still waiting.)
Also have never had a church ever call me to see how I am if I have not been there, even thought I spent years there.
Pretty obvious where their focus is.
They fawn over the 99 sheep and ignore the 1 sheep.

So I now go to church and after service just go home.
People don't even make eye contact with me unless to hand me a church bulletin. This is MANY churches that do this, just not one.
We truly live in a very different generation.
I my country, churches are so small (few dozens people max), that we do not have the comfort to separate people one from another :)

The Bible study is attended by 5-10 people at max, so it has no meaning to say "its for singles" or "its for married". I do not even know what the difference should be.
 

melita916

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2011
9,918
2,045
113
#33
we had small groups on fridays back at my home church. i loved it because it gave me a chance to spend time with others in a different setting. after devotionals, we all ate together. it wasn't geared to specific groups. it was an open invitation to anyone who wanted to join.

for many years, i was a loner at the church even though i had been there since i was 6. as a young adult, i got involved in ministry, but i wouldn't hang out with people after any event. just went, did what i was asked to do, and go home. no one talked to me either outside of church. it wasn't until i started talking with others that friendships happened. i forced myself in awkward (to me) situations and talked with others. i remember the first few times feeling so odd and looking for an exit, but i stuck to it! then, i was with people all the time. :) we were too small of a church to have a singles group, but heck. we were all involved in other ministries, along side married folks.

i can understand the frustrations though. there was a time i felt like i didn't fit anywhere because i was single.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
15,355
3,023
113
#34
Raffie the best way to get involved is to get involved. If you want to get involved in a lot of stuff, I recommend joining the sound team.
 

Raffie

New member
Oct 7, 2018
19
7
3
#35
we had small groups on fridays back at my home church. i loved it because it gave me a chance to spend time with others in a different setting. after devotionals, we all ate together. it wasn't geared to specific groups. it was an open invitation to anyone who wanted to join.

for many years, i was a loner at the church even though i had been there since i was 6. as a young adult, i got involved in ministry, but i wouldn't hang out with people after any event. just went, did what i was asked to do, and go home. no one talked to me either outside of church. it wasn't until i started talking with others that friendships happened. i forced myself in awkward (to me) situations and talked with others. i remember the first few times feeling so odd and looking for an exit, but i stuck to it! then, i was with people all the time. :) we were too small of a church to have a singles group, but heck. we were all involved in other ministries, along side married folks.

i can understand the frustrations though. there was a time i felt like i didn't fit anywhere because i was single.
As a single older male I'm seen as a predator (or something wrong with me because I don't fit the mold of what is considered normal in the church) so many families avoid me. I think single women are a little more well received then men.

I used to smile and laugh, shake hands, always up to help out, and invited people over to have a meal with me (even though no one ever came over), but no matter how I tried to make friends just got pushed away and never invited. Them inner circles in the church was to exclusive to allow me in.
I'm a big time introvert now. Guess I'm tired of getting pushed away and rejected. My reasoning is if I spent mass years to make friends with nothing but failure and if I do nothing I end up the same way but with less effort and frustration.

I'd love to find the old me. Maybe one day I might.
 
Aug 2, 2009
22,859
2,629
113
#36
I had a few churches I asked about a singles bible study.
They said "Well, you need to do it all and at your house. As a church and while it is good intent, we will not endorse this since it is not a church function." Translated - we a scared of law suits and getting a bad rep over this.
Other churches said "we'll get back with you on this..." (10+ years later still waiting.)
Also have never had a church ever call me to see how I am if I have not been there, even thought I spent years there.
Pretty obvious where their focus is.
They fawn over the 99 sheep and ignore the 1 sheep.

So I now go to church and after service just go home.
People don't even make eye contact with me unless to hand me a church bulletin. This is MANY churches that do this, just not one.
We truly live in a very different generation.
It's not fear of lawsuits. It just isn't the church's job to help people find a partner. It's an institution focused on worship, officiating marriages, and conducting funerals. Some churches don't mind having singles groups and functions for singles, but it's not a church's duty to provide them.
 

melita916

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2011
9,918
2,045
113
#37
Raffie, i'm not sure if you mentioned it, but is there a men's ministry at your local fellowship? if there is, and if you haven't, maybe you can join them. it may not be exactly what you're looking for (singles ministry), but it's a start to meeting others at church, and for others to get to know you.
 

Raffie

New member
Oct 7, 2018
19
7
3
#38
Raffie, i'm not sure if you mentioned it, but is there a men's ministry at your local fellowship? if there is, and if you haven't, maybe you can join them. it may not be exactly what you're looking for (singles ministry), but it's a start to meeting others at church, and for others to get to know you.
ton of stuff for women.. for men, have seen little to nothing.
 

melita916

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2011
9,918
2,045
113
#39
so the local fellowship you have doesn't have anything for men's ministry at all?
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
15,355
3,023
113
#40
Raffie it's time to share some of my life with you.

I'm a single guy, 40 years old, never so much as been on a date before. I go to a small church in a small town in southwest Tennessee. My church has a youth group, women's group, all the usual groups, but nothing for middle aged single men. And if my church did try to start anything for us, it probably wouldn't do so good because there are very few of us (and we probably wouldn't go to the activities anyway because by our age we are all a bit individualistic.) I'm also a minister - not the church pastor, just a minor local minister in the church - so I know some things from the church side of the equation.

In other words, I have a lot of experience in this topic and I am qualified to talk about it.

Now the problems that have been mentioned in this thread are real problems. Single people do get overlooked in the church a lot. Single people can feel isolated, and with good reason. And when a single person tries to jam himself into a relationship by walking up and talking to people out of the blue it is very awkward. You sound awkward, people look at you awkwardly, it's just plain awkward. If a middle aged single person at church doesn't already have friends there, it can be hard to make friends.

I could tell you how I dealt with that, but I'll leave that alone for now. You probably don't want to hear my (church) life story anyway. Instead I'm going to ask a few questions.
I had a few churches I asked about a singles bible study.
They said "Well, you need to do it all and at your house. As a church and while it is good intent, we will not endorse this since it is not a church function."
Did you ask them why they didn't want to do this? If it seems like a good outreach idea but the church leadership isn't too hot to try it out, there is probably a good reason. They may have tried it before and it didn't fly because middle aged single people are already set in their ways and won't come to a meeting like that. Or there might not be enough people to keep a group going. Might save you some trouble if you ask WHY they won't do something.

Did you try starting a singles bible study yourself? It might have worked. Or you might have found out why the church leaders didn't want to do it.

Are there in fact enough people around there to keep a group going?