Why do many churches not have an active ministry for single adults and/or young adults?

By Dennis Franck

  1. The following suggested steps are not offered as a “formula for sure success” but are given as guidelines for beginning a ministry. You may want to change the order of the steps slightly to fit your situation. (Used from the upcoming book, Reaching Single Adults - An Essential Guide for Ministry. To be published Jan. 07 by Baker Books, Dennis Franck)

    1. Pray - Without consistent, fervent ongoing prayer by potential leadership, the ministry will probably fail.
    2. Obtain permission and support - Ask the senior pastor of the church for permission to begin this ministry. Without the support of the pastor, the ministry will struggle. The pastor needs to be involved in the birthing of this ministry, at the very least through determining direction, through prayer and personal support.
    3. Determine the demographics in your church - If there is no information available in the church's data base concerning the demographics of your church, take a written survey in the main services of the church (see sample form below).

      Discover Your Church's Marital and Single Status
      Survey your congregation on two consecutive Sundays to determine the adult demographics of your church (ask that all adults over the age of eighteen complete the survey only once). Have people complete and turn it in during the service to ensure a good participation and return.

      Adult Congregational Survey

      Name: _________________________________ Date: ___________

      Address: ________________________________________________

      City: ______________________ State: _____ ZIP: _____________

      Phone: (___) _________ Fax: (__)_________ Email: ___________

      ___ Male___ Female

      ____ Never Married_____ Formerly Married ____Separated

      ____ Married ____Widowed ____ Single Parent____ Remarried

      Names and ages of Children at Home Under Age 18


      Your Age __18-25 __26-35 __36-45 __46-55__56-65__66-75__76+

    4. Analyze the demographics/survey - Tabulate the results in a form such as the one below. This will give you a clear picture of the marital status and demographics of your church.

      Tabulated Demographic Summary

























































































    5. Determine the demographics in your community - Contact the county courthouse for demographic information of your town, city, county, community, etc. You may also be able to obtain this information online from the census bureau. (www.census.gov)
    6. Decide and/or review which age and/or need group(s) you are beginning and the reasons why they are being targeted - If the church survey shows a larger percentage of single adults in the 18-35 yr old range, perhaps it would be wise to begin a ministry to them first. If the 35 + age group is larger, then perhaps that age group should be addressed first. If there are a large number of single parents, perhaps that group should be organized first (etc.).  The leader(s) of the group should be in the approximate age of the range of people the ministry is designed to reach.
    7. Develop a contact list - From the survey and/or church data base, compile a contact list (mail, email, phone, etc.) of young adults/single adults in the target age group or need group to be able to connect regularly with them concerning direction, events, etc.
    8. Organize planning meetings - Gather a team of interested single and married men and women representing the targeted age or need group(s) to brainstorm and plan. Share the current ideas concerning type of group, model of ministry, on or off church grounds location, etc., for discussion and affirmation. Discuss possible meeting days, times, locations, teachers and names for the ministry. 
    9. Develop a mission statement and goals - A mission statement represents the purpose of the ministry in a nutshell. This should be developed early in the beginning process to guide the direction of the group. 
    10. Plan and host a large event - Plan a large event designed to attract many young adults/single adults in the target age or need group. Take plenty of time (2-3 months) to pray, plan and promote the event before actually having it. Examples of events could include a retreat, conference, banquet, social activity, etc. Share the vision and potential plans for the ministry at the event.
    11. Name the ministry - The current leader(s) should pray, brainstorm and decide on a name for the ministry. A name should represent:
      • The target age or need group
      • A positive image/meaning
      • A Christian image/meaning
    12. Hold the first class/session - Begin the ministry by having the first class or session. Plan the class to be a weekly meeting on the same day, time and location for clarity, convenience and consistency.
    13. Begin weekly meetings – It is important that momentum and regular opportunities for building friendships be established. Meeting only bi-weekly or monthly will not fulfill these needs as well as a weekly time.
    14. Establish a leadership team - Look for and recruit adults who are interested and passionate about this ministry. These people might be willing to accept a role of responsibility and appropriate authority needed to fulfill that role. Examples of areas needing leadership at this point could include: hospitality, follow up, social activities, audio/visual, music, discussion leaders, etc.
    15. Develop a balanced ministry - A multi-faceted ministry should be developed over a long period of time. Ministries addressing the six areas of life should be planned. (Spiritual, relational, social, physical, mental, emotional)

    For more info, sample job descriptions and ideas go to BOTH SITES for various leadership helps!

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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