What makes ministry to single adults such a challenging yet rewarding one?



Question:  What makes ministry to single adults such a challenging, yet rewarding one?

Answer:  A ministry designed for single and single-again adults is not only to and for them, but should be designed to be with them. In other words, it needs to be stressed that the individuals coming and participating in this ministry are adults, not children or teen-agers. As adults, they will have the largest part in actually running the ministry. They have the time, talent and creativity to minister to others in almost all facets of the ministry to be designed. Single adult ministry is truly one to, for and with single adults.
 
Count the Cost - A Challenging Ministry
 
That being said it is now imperative that church leaders “count the cost” before beginning this ministry. Luke 14: 28 states, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?”
 
Simply stated, ministry to, for and with single adults is one of great challenge!  Though it is not uncommon for leaders of any ministry to purport this claim, one will soon realize, given the vast age span (18-65), various reasons for singleness (not yet married, divorced, widowed, single parent etc), and the diversity of issues within the lives of single adults in each category, ministry to single adults encompasses almost every personal issue and challenge in the church today! Most adult and children’s issues are faced in the lives of the different types and ages of people a single adult ministry reaches (challenges of career, parenting, divorce, finances, dating, widowhood, remarriage, friendship, sexuality etc).   It requires leaders to make a determined commitment to reaching and ministering to a multiplicity of diverse individuals with complex and difficult issues. Ministry to single and single-again adults may stretch anyone spiritually, emotionally, physically, and relationally beyond what was expected or anticipated!
 
Count the Cost - A Rewarding Ministry
 
It should also be stressed, however, that this ministry is one of great reward!  The rewards of ministry to and with single adults are numerous and deeply fulfilling. A few of them include:
 

  • Seeing individuals come to Christ as savior and Lord
  • Seeing individuals set free from emotional bondages of fear, anger, bitterness etc. from a divorce or broken relationship
  • Helping people discover direction for their lives in career, relationships, finances, family issues, etc
  • Seeing people set free from addictions of alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, homosexuality, fornication etc
  • Helping people grow spiritually, relationally, emotionally, and socially through involvement in ministry
  • Helping people discover their spiritual and ministry gifts and seeing them bless and assist individuals and the church
  • Seeing men and women establish healthy friendships and romantic relationships, some of them marrying
  • Reaping the personal and spiritual benefits of helping leaders network with other leaders, both inside and outside of the church
  • Seeing healing and wholeness come through Christian fellowship and friendship

 
Single adult ministry requires leaders to count the cost, determining the answers to many key elements before deciding to build and actually beginning to build the ministry. The elements of why, who, what, where, when and how of a ministry to single adults need to be discussed and planned. These elements contain many important issues relating to recruiting, training, motivating, and retaining leadership.

Excerpted from: Reaching Single Adults – An Essential Guide for Ministry – Baker Books, 2007

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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