Singles and College Ministries

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Martin, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    Why do so many churches put the singles in with the college students? I know that they divide singles up into age groups (etc) but the two groups are usually lumped together under the same title. Why is that? Is it because these churches assume that most singles are college age and will marry at some point? Or are there other, more practical, reasons for this?
     
  2. SaggyWoman

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    Churches are blind.
     
  3. Martin

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    I think that maybe true to some degree. The assumption seems to be that all "normal" single people will be married by 35/40, so we can throw them in with the college kids. As for the rest, well, there must be something wrong with them. That, to me, seems to be the thinking. My church does not have a singles group (thankfully). My pastor did try to start one but it failed. I went along with him because I thought he had good intentions (etc). However its failure was no surprise to me since I think I am the only single guy in my church my age. The rest of the single guys in my church are old men whose wives have died. As for women, well there are no single women my age in my church. So the group was doomed to failure from the start but, I like my pastor, and he tried so hard to get it started. However I was not disappointed with it failed.
     
  4. Martin

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    ==My thinking on this is only supported by the continued use of such phrases as "the single stage" and the promotion of eharmony and books on getting married. In other words I think the church largely ignores singles who never get married (for whatever reason). There seems to be the assumption that all normal singles get married at some point and that point is probably before 35/40 years of age. A person who reaches that "benchmark" is questioned and and many times talked about (in and out of the church circles). Don't tell me that does not happen. I have not reached either of those "benchmarks" yet the questions come on a regular basis. You know the sort of silly questions. Why aren't you married yet? Don't tell me a young man such as yourself does not have a girlfriend? I know this young lady who you might be interested in...etc, etc, etc. Even my pastor got in on the act at one point! Honestly it just gets old. I just want to look at people and say please mind your own business. I don't want to be mean or rude. After all I do consider most of these people to be brothers/sisters in Christ. However I get tired of the questions and I get tired of being lumped in (labeled with) with college kids. But this seems to be how most Churches, and Christians, deal with never married singles. I think there needs to be a new approach.
     
  5. Shell

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    I have experienced this with my church. Its always about the married couples. Its almost like they care less for the singles that do attend
     
  6. Martin

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    I don't know that it is they care less about singles as much as it is that they just don't consider the singles. Most people in the church want singles to just "get married" and the sooner the better. In my church there are literally NO singles. I am one of two single guys my age and there are zero single women our age. Most (all) of the singles are upper middle age to senior citizen(s). So my church is not under much pressure to adapt to singles. However I still do activities with my church. Events that are "family" events (ex: dinner and movie, the zoo, etc) I just don't attend.

    Sadly there is a book, and a blog, out now by Debbie Maken in which she says that single men are not obeying the Lord. She dismisses the idea that God could/would lead someone to be single all their life or have them wait to marry. At one point she "seems" to question the salvation, or at least the sanctification, of guys in the church who are not married (w/out medical reasons or great mission). She even claims that a Christian guy cannot serve the Lord properly since he is not married. She says singleness results in less fruit. Of course none of her arguments can be supported with Scripture. However don't dismiss her as a nut, her positions are gaining steam in modern evangelicalism. After all no less than Albert Mohler has endorse her book. Personally I think her book and ideas are nothing but unBiblical, vile, carnal, fleshly trash. However that is just my humble opinion. :wavey:
     
  7. Martin

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    On a blog/forum (not my blog or Maken's) dedicated to this debate I made the comment that a person should not date or marry until they get the "green light" from the Lord. I stated that a person should wait for the Lord and do nothing apart from His guidance. The response? One person, who claims to be a Christian, told me to "get real". So Maken's book is having a very negative effect on many in the church. The worst part is that her book is causing some single Christian women to develop ungodly attitudes that will, sadly, drive away the very thing they want (a marriage partner).
     
  8. SaggyWoman

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    Singles ministries are, at best, difficult...I speak from being a single myself. I personally go in and out of wanting to be involved with "singles" ministries, because of several reasons--

    1.) It is a dating ministry (though most churches don't really intend to start a dating ministry)

    2.) Some singles like being merged into the hearts of churches without having to tie into "singles' ministries--they get involved whether there is nor isn't.

    3.) Some singles are strange.

    4.) Some singles are not.

    5.) Singleness is not a stage. Marriage is a stage.
     
  9. El_Guero

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    Great post!

    :thumbs:

     
  10. trainbrainmommy

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    I went to a large church in the Chicago area and there were singles classes for the 20s, 30s & 40s. We had a singles pastor who was over all the classes. There was a separate class for divorcees and single parents. At the time, I was in my 20s and our class included the college students. We did not have a problem with that. Our whole group was very active in our own activities and in the general activities of the church. The core group was very close.

    I think size of the church has a lot to do with lumping the groups together. I think it is more difficult to have separate singles' groups in smaller churches.

    Some of the people did pair off, but where else can you find a good mate? I ended up meeting DH online.
     
  11. Martin

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    ==I find myself never wanting to be involved in any more singles groups. It was just, for me, personally insulting. And you are very correct it is a dating ministry. The pastor of my former church, a very large church, one of my friends (who is married) and myself went out to lunch together (this would have been around '00 I suppose). Anyway the pastor wondered why I was not more involved in the singles group instead of the regular mixed class. I just told him I was not that interested in singles groups. He then said that the singles group was working out very well and that they had several couples who met there already married. He quickly looked at me and said, "O, but that is not why we have the group". I sort of laughed and thought to myself, "O yes it is".:laugh:

    I would much rather be a part of the larger church than grouped together with a bunch of, excuse the harsh tone, desperate women in their 30's who are trying to find a husband before they get too old to have a baby. That is why I like my church. It is much smaller and therefore does not have a singles group. Hey, there are really no singles in my church so there can't even be a pretend group!


    ==True, very true.

    ==Ok.
     

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