Many churches cannot, or do not, have any targeted ministry for single adults beyond social/recreational activities. Isn’t having something for single adults better than having nothing?



Answer: It's true some churches do not target single adults for spiritual and personal life issues - teaching and ministry, but do acknowledge that they have unique social needs. Yes, having social and recreational activities for single adults is better than having nothing for them. The social activity leaders plan functions under the name and umbrella of the particular church. These leaders of the social activities are usually from the church, but may have little or no investment in them from the church pastors or elders who are busy with the children's, youth, men's, women's, family or other ministries deemed to have a higher priority. They may or may not be appointed by church leaders and may be left to "fend for themselves" much of the time. This scenario portrays the attitude that "as long as the single adults have some social events to help them find friends, they will be alright."

  

When the emphasis is only social and not also spiritual, single adults tend to identify with the group and with each other more than with the church itself. "The church lends its name, sanction and facilities and provides nominal supervision. The program will continue as long as the single adults remain actively involved, but it may be discontinued if interest wanes or the facilities are needed for a higher priority program."

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of having only a "social ministry" for single adults.

Advantages of having only a social activity ministry:

  • Requires little investment of time, energy, money and commitment from the church
  • Provides a simple way to have a single adult program
  • Keeps some single adults from going to another church in search of a
  • single adult ministry                                                                                                                       
  • May sometimes help attract some single adults who would not ordinarily come to a church  
  • Allows the church to start slowly and check possible responses to a more developed single adult ministry
  • Encourages single adults to interact with and learn from each other

Disadvantages of having a social program only:

  • It is only a program and not much of a ministry
  • There will usually be a lack of spiritual emphasis
  • It will probably not meet the spiritual, mental and educational needs of single adults
  • It may not meet the physical and emotional needs of single adults
  • There may be a mistaken belief that the needs of single adults are being met because there is a "program" for them  
  • The single adult program may be isolated from the total church program
  • The single adults may not be integrated very effectively and involved very extensively in the total life of the church

One haunting question deserves to be asked at this point.  Would this approach be used in most churches for youth, or children, or marriage, or family ministry?  I think the answer to this is very obviously no!

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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