Years ago singles ministries were everywhere. Every church had one, and it was seemingly exciting and attractive to the community. Then something happened–they all started to disappear.
First there were no new people entering singles groups. Many married from within the group and simply by attrition the ministry dwindled in numbers as it failed to reach new singles. Secondly, others fell into the trap of not looking outward but inward finding that they struggled too much with themselves to even reach others. A third type of single ministry was a hybrid of the two, creating the ultimate singles ministry collapse resulting in only “single for a reason” folks remaining in the group. You all know what we mean by that! The group was left with unhealthy people and healthy people do not want to join unhealthy groups.
So, here are three things your singles ministry may be doing to set the group up for failure.
# 1 It is not about Christ
- When social events become the base of any group, the focus is less about Christ. Groups like these focus more on providing environments for people to meet one another thus creating a “meat market” of sorts.
- The Solution: Focus the group on the Word of God. Home groups, Sunday School, cell groups, whatever you call them–make them the center of all you do. Secondly, make missions fun and schedule them just as much, if not more, than social events. More about this in #3
# 2 Singles have no community
- Gone are the days of throwing together a meal once a week and expecting community to happen. While that is a vital part of community, when you are targeting all the various backgrounds of singles added with their multi-generational nuances, you have to be intentional about building community through discipleship means like Bible Studies and Sunday School.
- The Solution: Ensure your primary teaching times involve group interaction with both co-ed and gender specific groups. A mix of these groups often will help build community more broadly than just a master-teacher time that occurs at the same time, same place every week.
# 3 Singles do not serve, they are served
- A singles group that lack missions will lack the ability to see outside of themselves. Mission based events direct the attention of people away from their struggles and “singleness” towards helping others. When singles are being served social events constantly they forget Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28.
The Solution: Have mission events often. Really. Often. Your singles group needs to be just as aware about the next mission event as they are aware about the fun retreat you have planned. Share pictures from the event and personally invite individuals to your upcoming mission event. Delegate an event to someone and watch your group take charge to reach the lost and show love to others in need.