Missing the Kids

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A man walks into a fall festival at his church. The look on his face is weathered from the years of addiction that has cut him off from his children. Where did it all go wrong? It seems like just a few moments ago he was taking his kids trick or treating and now he’s a single parent looking for a place to feel loved. He made a decision for Christ a few months back but relationships were too far gone and seem as if they will never be healed.

There is a single parent in your church with a story just like this or close to it. He or she is looking for a place to connect, but will they find it? Singles ministry is not just for the 20-something-never-married or single moms with preschoolers; no, it’s a place where love is shown to all backgrounds and commonality in their relationship status.

Churches that do not target singles of all backgrounds miss the opportunity to minister to people like this. Single parents come in many backgrounds and ages, but where they connect is up to the local church and the opportunities they offer. Psalm 68:6 “God sets the lonely in families.”

Within an effective singles ministry, the single father described above arrives early to help with festivals and be a part of something on a day where they would have just been alone. They serve with fellow singles that have become a second family over the past few weeks since attending. They go home still remembering what was, but now with hope of what is to come.

I’m Gay…Now What? | What do I do once know I am Gay?

TFO - Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - Blog - I'm Gay...Now What-

What do I do once know I am Gay?

Being a singles leader does not mean you are in charge of the dating relationships for all who walk into your group. It is, in fact, the opposite of that. You are there to help be a leader they can turn to as they grow in their relationship with the Lord. You are the ear they should be able to come to without judgment or resentment, while still being the place to hear the truth is God’s Word.

So imagine being the leader when a guy in the group comes to you says, “I’m Gay and love God. What do I do next?”  With over 25 million people in America who struggle with same-sex attraction or are openly engaged in it, the question is not if this will happen in your singles group, but when. How will you react, what advice will you give?

God is love. Your reaction should be loving as well. This person is not asking for you to explain in Scripture where it says same-sex attraction is wrong.  They know that and they love God, which is why they are asking “now what?” We believe your response needs to include the following:

We are all sinners. Your sin is not “special.” All fall short of the Glory of God.  Being attracted to the same-sex does not mean you have to act on it.  In the same way heterosexuals do not date or have relationships, you can too. It’s a choice to engage in those relationships, regardless of the debate of where those feelings come from. No sin is so big that it can not be overcome. You can have victory over this struggle like other struggles we all have. The point to remember is to define that victory–it does not mean having a heterosexual marriage and kids! It is having a relationship with Christ first!!!

As a leader, you need to be ready to respond and give options to your singles who struggle with same-sex attraction. Remember, the end goal is for us to become more like Christ, who was single, and reflect His image. Rather than condemn, let’s move people closer to God so that He may be glorified in all that we do.

2013 Recap

bible study for single adults

What an exciting year it has been for Table for One Ministries!

Our first year of ministry saw great success in getting our name out there as a ministry to single adults. We have nearly 1,100 likes on Facebook, 2,200 followers on Twitter, 2,500 followers on Instagram, 2,600 followers on Pinterest and we see hits every day on our website from these outlets reading our blogs. Speaking of our website, we average over 500 views a day. Our top blog of 2014 was “Divorced not Damaged” by Christina Dunn with just over 500 reads followed by our Gospel presentation blog “Am I Alone?” and third was our blog “Not an Option.” We raised over $5,000 in tax-deductible giving and filed for a trademark for our ministry name.

Our goals for 2013 were to get our name out there, reach single adults, and establish a non-profit with high accountability. Thanks to the leadership of the nine members of our board of directors, we have met and exceeded these goals! For 2014, we are looking to produce discipleship focused curriculum targeted for single adults as well as schedule speaking engagements to share our values. We want to be a ministry that is reaching single adults and inspiring churches to start reaching single adults as well.

Will you help us get 2014 off to a good start? You have the opportunity to give a tax-deductible gift to Table for One Ministries before December 31st to help us get 2014 off to a great start. Your recurring or one time gift will propel our goals of publishing curriculum even sooner. We praise God for your support and look forward to sharing the stories of life change Table for One is bringing to singles and churches.

Rumor Has It

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“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Ephesians 4:29

Can you keep a secret? Secrets are intended to keep someone away from information that they “should not know.” The funny thing with secrets is that people tend to get hurt when they create too many secrets. Secrets can hurt relationships and even break marriages. A a single, you have the ability to let only “wholesome” talk come out of your mouth and choose to build up those around you. Too often singles get caught in the “secret trap” in their social groups and relationships are forever damaged by gossiping about those secrets. Here are a few proverbs about gossip.

  • Proverbs 11:13
    • A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
  • Proverbs 16:28
    • A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.
  • Proverbs 18:8
    • The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.
  • Proverbs 20:19
    • A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.
  • Proverbs 26:20
    • Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.

Some of you are saying right now, “But where is the line with gossip?”  Gossip is unwarranted sharing of information to others for conversation. Unwarranted information is things you share that no one asked you to share, but you thought it necessary. Gossip also tears another person down or diminishes them. When you share gossip you are sinning and causing the person you are with to sin as well. All of us all guilty of gossip, either intentional or unintentional. Keep in mind that if we keep our conversation beneficial to those who listen, we are less likely to gossip and more likely to build others up.

Is Singleness Causing a Downfall of our Churches? Our Nation?

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Singles are sometimes confronted with a litany of (inappropriate?) questions, such as “why hasn’t anyone married you yet?” As uncomfortable, and potentially insulting as those questions are, there is now the theory that singleness is contributing to the downfall of our nation.

That is among the points of Family Vision Films new faith-based documentary now in production called “UnMarried: the Rise of Singleness.” The film includes interviews with theologians, families, married adults and single adults as it seeks to understand why people are choosing “delayed marriage,” or “prolonged singleness.” The film seems to take a firm stand against singleness, operating under the belief that Christians should marry young, with the decision to marry being perhaps more important than the decision of who to marry. One article recently linked on their Facebook page lists ten reasons to marry and have children at a young age. UnMarried specifically approves of reason #3: “Because you will never really find the right person and if you do, you’re probably not the right person for them.”

In the “pre-trailer,” one interviewee states that singleness “is the fundamental problem of our social systems. It is a fundamental problem with our churches, a fundamental problem with education systems, and it will yield severe, severe, socio-economic problems in years to come…If we don’t address this issue, we’re done. There is no future for the family. There’s no future for the church. There is no future for our Nation.”

The filmmakers are using their Facebook page to conduct research for their film. They ask questions for their followers to respond to, post links to articles that address singleness and/or early marriage, and allow followers to voice their own queries. Their followers are on a spectrum from believing God will provide you with a spouse in his timing to believing it is a parents responsibility to find a spouse for their eighteen year-old (or younger) child.

Follow Table For One Ministries on our Facebook page as we repost some of the questions and links UnMarried is using for research and respond with your comments. We would like to have a healthy, Biblical discussion on the issues, myths, and outright insulting fallacies being stated today about the Christian single. Furthermore, we want to highlight some of the invalid and unbiblical arguments facing singles, particularly Christian singles, today.

 

Christmas Music All Year

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I have a confession to make. A few years ago I decided to make a major decision in my life. I would no longer contain Christmas music to one month of the year and in fact I would proudly say Christmas is my favorite music all year long! I play it when coworkers are around, in my car with friends, even post on Facebook anytime I had the urge to sing some Christmas cheer! Not all people approve of using Christmas music in this manner, but most find it amusing that I am so bold about my favorite music.

You see, when I play Christmas music all year round, I get to sing about the birth of God becoming man to pay a debt for my sins I can not repay. Yes, not all Christmas songs are about Jesus and I enjoy them as well, but the majority of them are about Jesus or a time of year when people come together as family and visit with each other. Singing is a way of reminding me of Christ and what He has done for me as a reminder to share that gift with the world.

God becoming man is major! So is Christ dying on a cross to pay a debt for all mankind’s sins so that we would not die, but have everlasting life. Christmas music will often calm me down when I am upset about something or worked up for no good reason. It has also become a way for me to share my testimony with others as I am afforded the chance to explain why I love Christmas music all year round. I have been able to give full Gospel presentations in the middle of huge retails stores and talk with strangers in line all because of my love for Christmas music. Because, love it or hate it, Christmas music all year is a great conversation starter, a starter that involves Christ.

So what music do you listen to most? I am not saying you have to adopt what I am doing, but what you listen to the majority of the time may influence your actions more than you think. I love all kinds of music and listen to it all, but I want the music I listen to most to motivate me to share the Gospel with others. What do you want the music you listen to do for you?

I Got This

TFO - Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - Blog - I Got This

Singles love going to eat with other people and being social. The other part of being single is that your budget only has one income and eating out often can get expensive. Most singles run into this problem and have to cut back on eating out, or keep it under control at the least. But, there is something about going to lunch with someone else that helps us bond with one another and allows walls to come down. Jesus broke bread with His disciples and used that time to teach and connect with them, so it is no surprise we do the same.

But, when was the last time was you purchased someone else’s lunch? Have you recently said to your lunch partner “I got this” and purchased their meal? A meal may cost $8-$10 but your action was not a monetary one, it was one that demonstrated an act of love and selflessness. Still doubtful? Give someone a $10 bill and watch their reaction. They may say “thank you” and then move on without even keeping up with how that $10 was spent. But, purchase that same person a meal for lunch with that $10 and they immediately are grateful and remember your generosity. Your intentional act of giving will hopefully bring glory to God. Be discerning in how you bless someone with buying their meal and always be discreet. Be a cheerful giver and learn through your act of kindness how to serve and bless others everyday.

Now, we can hear those of you saying you don’t have enough money to buy someone’s meal. Start small with your acts of generosity and start budgeting funds to be able to do so. Soon you will be a cheerful giver that is demonstrating the love of Christ with others. Go ahead, try it. Not all results will be gratifying, but if you continue to bless others, you too will be blessed by your giving. Don’t let the mindset of being single on one income keep you from telling your lunch partner, “I got this.”

Trust in the Lord

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Trust can take a long time to earn and seconds to end. Trust is the foundation of currency in the world, agreements between Nations, and the foundation of a relationship with Christ. The Bible speaks a lot about trusting in the Lord. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgement”. Always let Him lead you, and He will clear the road for you to follow.” Faith and trust are closely related. Most of the time when faith is used the word trust could be in its place.

Faith and trust do not happen without taking a step forward with God. When life situations hit you hard and you are not sure what to do next, trust in the Lord and don’t lean on your own understanding. Maybe He is calling you to be single for awhile or asking you to relocate cities or even be a missionary overseas. Trust His path and follow Him; He will take care of the details.

Trusting the Lord is how Table for One Ministries came to be. PJ Dunn & Christina Dunn left their jobs, sold most of their belongings and moved 1,000 miles away. When they first left, the destination was unknown, but some hints were given along the way. God took a year to refine their path and direction and led PJ to start Table for One Ministries.

Stepping out on faith and trusting the Lord is scary! It often requires much sacrifice and patience but when the fullness of the Lord’s plan is revealed, it is an amazing thing to be a part of. What has the Lord asked you to sacrifice in order to trust Him and follow His lead?

Trilogy Epic Movie Day

TFO - Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - Blog - Trilogy Epic Movie Day

It’s January. You have just come off a holiday bender that goes back to October, where every month has something to celebrate. Your singles group is broke from Christmas and you as a leader are ready to take a break. So put on your pajamas, pull up a couch and be lazy all day long.

Movie trilogy day is a favorite among singles. It involves little effort, no cash, and you don’t have to do anything but sit and watch movies!

Pick a movie trilogy that is easy to watch in a day, a.k.a. not Star Wars. Go for a fun movie that makes people laugh and is kid-friendly for single parents to bring their children. Movies like Toy Story, Shrek, Mission Impossible, and Oceans 11,12,or 13. You can purchase these movies online and edited out for excessive violence and language. It’s worth the investment for your event as everyone will enjoy the day. Here’s what a movie trilogy day looks like.

  • 9am Movie #1
    • Make sure to have drinks on hand, board games, and internet access.
  • Noon
    • Provide a lunch. Make it easy, cheap, and likable by all.
  • 12:30 Movie #2
    • Enjoy!
  • 3pm
    • Offer a break for those that need to leave and come back. Also, if the weather allows you can go outside and toss a Frisbee or have a game of kickball. Some people will want to walk around a bit after being inside all day. Others can stay inside and play games.
  • 6pm
    • Dinner. Do something that is a build your-own option. Pizzas, tacos, sandwiches or anything that gets people involved.
  • 7pm Movie #3
    • Offer popcorn and drinks and enjoy your last movie

People may come for one movie or camp out all day. Regardless, announce the movies times and allow transition time in between. Sharing this information ahead of time will help people to plan for all or part of the day. Either way, this event is a major win for the ministry because you spend a day together talking and sharing a movie series together.

Take lots of pictures and share them on social media as the day progresses to encourage anyone on the fence at home to want to join in. Make awesome popcorn and enjoy your epic day of movie watching!

Why Give to Table For One?

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Table for One Ministries seeks to build community for single adults through discipleship. We are not a para-church organization, but a resource destination to both singles and churches on ways to reach single adults. God has called us to connect single adults to Him! This bold path is one that targets all backgrounds and types of single adults, which comprise nearly half of the United States’ population.

Table for One has no payroll. Those who contribute to this ministry; the founder, the board, the writers, the editors, and the volunteers receive no income. Our ministry is held accountable by nine board members, including a CPA that ensures every donation is accounted for and used responsibly to further our ministry goals. Our blogs are written by our board members, by single adult missionaries, and by local church leaders who share our passion for single adults.

Your donation, either monthly or one-time gift, will go towards paying the routine monthly expenses necessary to any organization. Website development, advertising and communications make up the majority of these expenses. We cannot continue to reach out to single adults without your support! In time, we hope to produce curriculum and other paid services to help offset these monthly expenses, but for now we rely solely on your support.

Will you join us? Please pray for us, and also prayerfully consider supporting Table for One Ministries through a financial donation. Tax-refunds often provide a wonderful opportunity for giving. We would also encourage you to prayerfully consider a monthly gift (perhaps $5, or $50, or more) to provide ongoing support for this ministry. Your monthly contribution would help provide a stable platform from which to propel our ministry forward. Please e-mail [email protected] with any questions you may have about donating to Table For One Ministries..

Thank you for your prayers and your support! We look forward to years of serving God through this Ministry.

www.tableforoneministries.com/give