What are the basic differences between young adult and single adult ministry?



By Dennis Franck

Question: What are the basic differences between young adult and single adult ministry?

Answer: There are several major differences between ministry to young adults and single adults. Some people think single adults of any age and any reason (never married, divorced, widowed, single parent) can/should attend one group for all ages. This is not usually true. There are too many distinct differences between 18-35 yr old “unmarried” adults, and 35-59 yr old “single and single-again” adults for them to WANT to regularly mix with people in a 40 year age span. Although spiritual needs may be the same, personal needs and life experiences are vastly different! Regular friendships are typically formed with people of similar age and life experiences. (It is also true of married adults. A 25 year old married couple has little in common with a 55 year old married couple).

YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY

1.  WHO THEY ARE

  • 18-35 yrs old--About 80 - 90% attracted to a young adult ministry will be this age
     - 50-70 % will probably be never married
     - 10-20% will probably be single parents
     - 10-20% will probably be divorced
     - 10-20% will probably be married (1st marriage)

2.  SUB GROUPS

Churches structure young adult ministry groups several ways depending on the number of young adults in this age group (18-35) to draw from in the church and community, leadership philosophy, and available leadership.

  • College Age – 18 – 25 yrs old
  • Mid 20’s and 30’s
  • 18 – 35 yrs. old

3.  LIFE ISSUES

  • Developing healthy friendships
  • Establishing financial independence
  • Choosing/establishing a career
  • Dating/marriage issues
  • Independence/living away from mom and dad
  • Renting or buying a home
  • Renting or buying a house

SINGLE ADULT MINISTRY

1.  WHO THEY ARE

  • 35 - 59 yrs old—About 80 - 90% attracted to a single adult ministry will be this age
  • 50 – 60 % will probably be divorced
  • 20 - 30% will probably be never married
  • 15 - 20% will probably be widowed

2.  SUB GROUPS

Churches structure single adult ministry groups several ways depending on the number of single and single again adults in this age group (35-59), in the church and community, leadership philosophy, and available leadership.

  • 30, or 35 + yrs old (including all groups below)
  • Divorce Recovery—an 8 - 12 week workshop
  • Single - Parent - Families –an ongoing ministry
  • Widowed –either an ongoing ministry or workshop for a period of time

3.  LIFE ISSUES

  • Divorce issues—shock, separation, denial, anger, forgiveness, children, dating, remarriage
  • Widowhood issues—shock, anger, grief, adjustment, dating, remarriage
  • Single Parenting issues—parenting, financial struggles, home/car repair struggles, need   for the parent to have time alone, dealing with the ex spouse, forgiveness, dating etc.

UNDERSTANDING BASIC REALITIES

  • People (married or single) are comfortable with others in their same approximate age group due to similar life issues 
  1. A 25 yr old single adult has little in common with a 55 yr old single adult.
  2. Young adults, 20-30 yrs old, may not want to hang out with people their parent’s age on a regular basis 
  3. A 25 yr old married couple may have little in common with a 55 yr old married couple.
  • Young Adults won’t as easily identify themselves by their marital status as s single adults will.
  1. “I’m not single. My mom is divorced and 52. She’s single.  I’m just not married yet.”
  2. Young Adults would probably not attend a “Singles Group.”
  • Young adults (18-30) and single adults (30+) have different life issues (see above)
  • A leader should be the age of the majority of the group
  1. A 30 yr old single adult may not be respected as a leader of a single adult ministry because of being 10 - 20 years younger than the majority of the group.
  2. A 50 yr old single adult may not be respected as a leader of a young adult ministry because of being 15 - 20 years older than the majority of the group.
  • Churches need two distinct ministries and leaders for these two groups of people

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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