How can we make our ministry a comfortable, safe place for men and women to fellowship?

By Dennis Franck

  • I remember this issue well during my years as a pastor to single adults and young adults. The very nature of a ministry for single adults or young adults many times fosters the idea that it is a place to "pick up dates" or look for mates because most people coming are unmarried!  Although I would rather have people look for a person to date in a Christian group, since chances of possibly finding a committed believer are better than looking in secular places, the knowledge that a few in the group are desperate to find Mr. or Miss Right can create an unhealthy environment and an image a ministry does not want to portray or be known for.

    Any leader wanting to create a safe place for people has their heart in the right place! I would suggest the following:

    • State your ministry purposes on a regular basis in front of the groups (every 2-3 months). This affirms who you are and why you exist.
    • Mention the issue in front of the group(s) 2 or more times per year - this lets them know you and other leaders are aware of the problem and it helps to comfort and retain those who may be struggling with the issue.
    • Discuss the issue on your leadership teams and ask for input regarding solutions. Keep it in front of them and ask them to watch for "wolves and wolvettes!"
    • Intentionally and carefully choose a few men to train to watch for these people in the group(s). Meet with them to brainstorm the approach to take in dealing with wolves and wolvettes. These men should be...
      • Sensitive to the issue
      • Understanding of the issue
      • Fairly mature spiritually
      • Verbally articulate
      • Courageous
      • Willing to be confrontational if needed
    • You MAY need to chose a few women to train also.

The purpose of Assemblies of God Single Adult Ministries is to help districts, churches, pastors and leaders build spiritually-strong single and single-again adults of all ages.

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