Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Do Single People Need from the Church?

Oh, so many things I want to write about and share with you... my bloggy friends.
My apologizies for the recent neglect of this blog.

However, of all the things I would like to address here... this blog/column from the National Catholic Register hits so many points... especially in the comments section!
I feel like I just want everyone to read it!

What Do Single People Need from the Church

Would you?
And if you would be so kind, come back here and share your thoughts.
and if so, kindly discern your age range and religious affiliation.
(have something up my sleeve that we should all enjoy)

Thanks, and Happy Post Singles Awareness Day!!!


KristyWes said...

You know what I would like from the church? To be treated not as a "single person," but just as a "person." Often times I feel so labeled by my singleness, both inside and outside the church. I would like to come to church, and for one stinkin' hour a week, be able to forget that I'm single and just focus on the fact that I'm whole & complete in Christ. (I'm not sure how exactly this could be accomplished, but I'm daring to dream there is a way :)
-Kristy (34, Protestant)

Jenni said...

So many of the comments resonated with me. I think what I keep coming back to is community. I want to be in community, in relationship, in "family" with folks in my church outside of the prescribed worship times each week.

-Jenni (36, Church of Christ)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

PS Protestant, age 45 :D

Herding Grasshoppers said...

TRS, I keep trying to leave this comment, and it keeps not showing up. I'm doing something wrong! But if it finally shows up three times (oops) please delete the multiples... not trying to spam you!

Loved the article, didn't have time to read all the comments. And I've been married nearly 18 years, so my perspective may not carry the same weight ;D

I think we all need the same things from the church:
1. The Gospel. We are all sinners, saved by grace, and adopted into God's family.
2. Fellowship and encouragement from our sisters and brothers.
3. To be challenged to grow in our faith (Heb. 6:1, "Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity..."

I'm NOT generally a fan of segregating the church family by age/status. Sure there are times and places for those kinds of activities, but that shouldn't be our constant experience. (This is probably more prevalent in Protestant churches.)

The church is one Body, one Family, and we need to act like it. That mean going out of our way to remember (!) and include singles. In my home church I love seeing a widow being absorbed into several families and acting as an "auxiliary grandma" to their kids. I see single young men and women being included in families' lives, and thus mentored in being husbands, wives, dads, and moms. I see activities like our monthly potluck and game night drawing families, retired couples, singles (young and old), teens, etc.

That's my two cents,


Judith said...

I don't like how she said that we wouldn't have these activities if the singles didn't plan and organize them. Like we singles have all this time on our hands???? We should be the ones helping more at church. I work 40 8-5 plus commute. Have to cook dinner, grocery shop, clean, take care of errands, etc. And then find time to go out with friends. Yeah, I have time to do more stuff at church. (Sarcastic)

And I don't like the fact that they relegate all the single people to work in nursery. And then when the kids are acting up they say, aren't you glad that you don't have any. Really? I would love a baby, and you are being insensitive.

Asking us what we need is saddening. Like the leadership has lost touch. I think even if we said what we need, they wouldn't be able to provide it.

I think the main problem with churches is that there are several single women there, but there is hardly any single guys. So I'd like to have the church reach out to the single guys.

And I'd love a 30's never been married before single's group. We always get lumped in with the college to 20's. I'm sorry, but my concerns are SO different than yours. I need people who are in the same point of life I am in.

34 non-denominational

KristyWes said...

Me again. A lot of the comments on that article talked about the importance of married people and single people doing life together and not being segregated into two groups, and I think that's so important! Often we feel shut out from a life stage we're longing for, and then we feel further shut out from community with those in that life stage. Plus, I think spending time with one another would increase understanding of what each segment of the church is dealing with - rather than making (sometimes hurtful) assumptions.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Judith and KristyWes whole heartedly. I also think it should be addressed that single people do not have lots of time on their hands. I get so frustrated with married people who believe this.

Also, we need Christian men to show up at church. I have been looking, but I have never been on a date with a Christian man. I went on my first date ever just this summer with a non-believer. I was 27 and tired of waiting. It was not a good choice for me.

I think there is a blog called, where the ladies are fasting every Monday for men to come back to the church. It is something I am really considering doing.

Tay said...

It is such a resounding issue in all Christian religions, it seems. Even in my faith, and we have specific young adult (18-30) congregations as well as activities for those who are single and over 30 (single for any reason). But even still, I am in charge of monthly gatherings of the women in my congregation as well as assisting in making sure their spiritual and temporal needs are being sufficiently met, and it's not easy. Especially in a church where family is so focused on and people feel so excluded for not having children and/or a spouse. Sometimes it's like a nightmare trying to figure out how to include everybody.

All that I can conclude is that we need to avoid things that isolate each other. We ought to dive into activities that require all hands to build up God's kingdom, activities that allow intermingling and the formation of friendships.

Another need is to treat all others as Christ would treat them - with respect, dignity, love and acceptance, with concern for their welfare and the willingness to help where there is need - no matter their circumstance.

I hope I can succeed in part to living up to my own expectations. :)

Tay (25, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Liz said...

As a single, protestant, Brit I found the article fascinating...
- Like others above, I don't like the assumption that single people have more time & should get on with organising activities themselves. I don't have time.
- I deeply resented one of the comments that said we should make the most of our time 'before diapers come along'. Aged 30, I would like nothing more than for my time with diapers to come along, but having been single forever, that seems to be more and more unlikely with every passing day - and that hurts.
- Yes, there is a need for families/marrieds to include singles in their community. For many single people it's what they crave.

You might be interested in a couple of blogposts written on this subject (in the Church of England) recently:

Oh, and at least be thankful you're not training for the ministry (not that you could, being Catholic an' all...). At my college there are 3 single women and 1 single man in the 1st year - and very, very few in the 2 years above us. Everything is focused around married life and families. Friends are always keen to get away from our residentials to get home to their spouses, while I like to spend as long as possible there because I don't have anyone to go home to.

Summer Says... said...

I know this is a late-to-the-game comment, but I'm a recent reader. I've read this post a couple times searching for my reponse.

What do I need from church as a single? The same inclusivenss extended to married, families and even the widowed. I want my church to have whole-church fellowships - without qualifiers such as "family" night or "Valentine Date Banquet." I want to feel that I have value in the church without a ring on my finger and/or a baby on my hip.

Thank you for posting such insightful entries. The more I read, the more I relate - and see how universal my emotions are.

early 30s, Baptist

Gina said...

There've been some really great answers. I think what most of us single Christians want is for others to listen, and care, and not make assumptions or judgments, and help us feel included.

Same things that most people want, really.

Gina, 36, evangelical Protestant