5 Things Married People Dont Get About Singles

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1.   How singles date now.

  • Dating for singles now is the same as it has always been, but completely different. Confused? Singles now interact with technology in every part of the dating experience. From finding that person they would otherwise never meet online, to texting post date to affirm feelings. In fact, not using technology to date is harder than it is to embrace it and use it.

2.  Why singles wait so long to marry.

  • Some people will say the single is “too picky.” The mature Christian single hears the stats, sees friends or family members with unhappy marriages. We hear the horror stories about divorce but rarely hear the positive.

3.  We are Complete without a spouse.

  • No one needs a spouse to be fulfilled. But, what each and everyone of us, married or single, does need is a Savior. We said it before and we’ll say it again, Complete in Christ.

4.  How we spend our money.  

  • Being single does not mean you have an excess of funds. Singles have the same expenses as marrieds: rent or house payment, utilities, car insurance and car payments, food, medical insurance, student loans. For the single parent, there’s the child expense. No different than the married couple with a child.

5.  Where we hangout.

  • small groups. The local church offers the opportunity to intermingle with the body of Christ.
  • with co-workers. Those on the same team working towards a similar goal.
  • with others like ourselves: It could be the same hobby or interest. It could be others with the same calling, on the same mission, at the same place.
  • social events. Meeting friends of friends, friends of family. Meeting the stranger who enjoys the same type of music. Meeting the stranger who admires the same piece of artwork at an exhibit. Attending sports events.

How to Start a Singles Ministry or Group

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  1. Pray. This may seem like an obvious step, but sometimes an idea is acted upon out of enthusiasm and not with a clear plan guided by His hand.

You are likely to know several singles in your church. Enlist their help as you pray towards God’s plan. And when asked, “does your church have a singles group,” don’t answer with a simple no. Ask the person to pray with you. Go to the church staff and ask them to pray about it. Talk to your Sunday class about your desire to see singles gathered and request they pray about it also.

  1. Gather single adult leaders. Establish a core group of mature Believers with a heart for reaching singles. Listen to their input.

Find others with enthusiasm and willingness for the long haul. Ask for a commitment. Ask for input. Delegate tasks as the core group steps into leadership roles.

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  1. Have an outreach plan. Use the core group to make a plan, set goals and deadlines.

Communicate, communicate, communicate. The core group not only needs a plan, they need clear goals and deadlines for the steps to form an active group of singles with a heart for Christ.

  1. Plan ahead with events, missions, etc. As you meet with the core group, it will become obvious who has the heart for playing host or hostess. Divide the duties so no one feels overwhelmed.

Start with a big bang but have events in place beyond the first call to singles. When there is momentum, you don’t want to lose individuals by saying, “we’ll let you know what’s next.” Instead have a second and perhaps third event already in the works from the core group. Then share those details at the initial singles group gathering. For every social event plan a missions event and weekday Bible Study opportunity. Keep in mind you will offer more than people will attend, but opportunities spur growth.

  1.  Keep the momentum going. Try new events. Invite others. Establish small groups for specific tasks.

Move forward, seek out new ideas, keep praying and make certain established members of the group welcome new members with an open heart. Remind the group how difficult it can be to enter a room and not know anyone. And, when someone shows up for a second time, make them part of the group by assigning even a small task.

Stop Following Your Heart

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Have you ever heard of Lemmings? It was a popular game a few years back, when floppy drives were still in use! It’s also an animal associated with the idea of following the leader no matter what, blindly going where they lead. The problem, of course, is that lemmings follow the leader, even if it’s over a cliff! They follow blindly until something happens, whether good or bad.

Singles are no different when they follow only their heart in relationships.

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Jeremiah 17:9.

We are obsessed with a Romeo-and-Juliet culture where love is nothing more than following your heart to find true love. This is made even more popular by shows like “Once Upon a Time,” where every character is centered around finding their happy ending. And it never comes!

Christ wants you to follow Him! Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Trust Him with everything! Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Christ says “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24.

Following your heart leads to paths that are not always what God wants for our lives. Sin can creep into our decision-making and relying on our “hearts” leads to poor choices.

And as for that happy ending? In John 16:33 Jesus says, “The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” Christ has defeated the world through death on the Cross!

This world will never bring a happy ending, our happy ending as Christ followers is hearing the words “Well done my good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:21.

The “Friend Zone”

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No one is happy.

The ladies say the guys won’t ask them out.

The guys say the ladies stay in their social circles and won’t come out. No one is on anyone’s romantic radar.

Welcome to the Friend Zone. It’s a place that single adults find themselves at almost every church event. Sure, there are people that blast through the friend zone and find their mate through church, but more and more singles are frustrated by the “dating within the one place it’s best” to find a spouse.

So how does it happen? How can so many eligible people, with similar beliefs and values, AND the desire to date, be around each other for so long without ever developing relationships?

It’s simple and complex all at the same time.

First, let’s address it from the guy’s perspective. Guys want to pursue dating relationships with the girls. They want to find “her”. Despite what the ladies think, they are not scared of girls. That’s the simple part.

It gets complex from there. There is a dating shelf life in any singles group. Guys can only ask out a certain number of girls before they are branded a “player” in the singles group. And that’s the best thing they can be branded. The other brand is much more damaging. “Creepy”. Creepy guys are done…finished. They are the ones that girls warn other girls about before they even darken the door.

For the guys, they spend their entire time trying to figure out which girl they should pursue and how they will be branded by the group based on their actions. If a guy messes this up and is viewed poorly by the girls he is damaged. Sometimes irreparably.

From the ladies perspective, they aren’t going to pursue the guy. And they shouldn’t have to. Many of them are interested in dating, but unfortunately their pool of selection is small. Male leadership in the church is lacking at all ages and they aren’t going to waste their time with guys that won’t step up and show spiritual leadership within their group.

And why should the ladies waste their time? If these guys can’t step up in leadership in the church, how will they ever do it in the home? Showing boldness, in the minds of the ladies, begins with stepping up and asking them out.

So we find ourselves in the friend zone. We find ourselves in a place where guys won’t pull the trigger on asking a girl out because he’s afraid he’s going to get blackballed, or because another guy has called “dibs” on asking a girl out. And we find the ladies frustrated because of the lack of real mature men that want to not only ask them out, but more importantly the lack of men that are serious about their spiritual life. We end up having large singles groups of people that aren’t dating but hang out all the time as friends. They will then refuse to move into a dating relationship with someone in their group because “it’s just too weird” or “I don’t want to mess up our friendship” or “I think of him/her like a sibling”.

Breaking out of this is going to be tough, but here’s how we do it.

Guys, step it up. First, focus on your spiritual life. You don’t have to stop dating to do this. It’s a journey and you’ll never reach perfection. Don’t wait on perfection. Second, find the ONE girl that is special to you. Be a man and ask her out.

Ladies, give the guys a chance. Don’t gossip with your girlfriends about the guys and do everything in your power not to “brand” the ones that are genuinely trying.

It’s a two way street.

– Author Will King

Names for a Singles Ministry

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Names for a Singles Ministry

Over the year our ministry to singles has had requests to post a list of singles ministry names we found while serving singles and those who lead singles. This list is the names we have experienced with some added suggestions. We would love for you to comment and add your own group names or make suggestions for others as we build a community for single adults through discipleship.


 

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At Table for One Ministries, we recommend you don’t use fancy names for a singles ministry description. Call a group what people are going to put into google a search for in your community! That name will be the most effective and relational name you can pick. Often the best results are naming a group “Singles 20+” or Singles 20’s & 30’s” But if you want a list, here it is 🙂 Remember, a singles group isn’t about dating or a “singles ministry.” It is about being complete in Christ!

  • Single Focus
  • Single Life
  • The Bridge
  • Solo
  • Single Adults Living Truth (S.A.L.T.)
  • Singularity
  • The Porch (https://www.theporch.live/)
  • F.O.C.A.S. (Fellowship of Christian Adult Singles)
  • Focus on One
  • Interfaze
  • One For the Lord
  • One is a Whole Number
  • Single and Soaring Singles Ministry
  • Single Life Ministries
  • Table for One
  • Single Purpose
  • Single Vision
  • Singled Out
  • Solo Flight
  • S.W.A.T. (Singles With A Testimony) Team
  • The Edge (Every Day Giving Everything)
  • Victorious Single Living Ministries
  • Flourish
  • “The Well” of ______ Community Church
  • “High Point” Singles Ministry (ages 35+)
  • The Bridge (ages 35-50)
  • The Peak (Ages 45+)
  • Positive Single Adults
  • City Wide Singles
  • Real Life Singles Ministry
  • Singles Alive in Christ
  • Single Life Ministries
  • Singles Source
  • SingleSource (ages 30+)

Ready to take your Singles Ministry to the Next Level?

Download a FREE Sample of our Singles Ministry Curriculum!

 

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Another Closed Door

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When my marriage of 14 years ended against my wishes, I drove to and from work, often not remembering how I got there. When I arrived home at the end of the day, I found myself staring at the television without registering what was on. I was a zombie. All I could think was, “What now? I’m alone.”

That feeling eventually dissipated but not without the comfort of Christ. I grabbed onto the promise of God stated in Deuteronomy 31:8.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;

He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

When relationships end, it’s easy to have a pity party. To relive everything said or done. To grow angry or depressed. To calculate how you need to change to guarantee you will not be alone again. Yet focusing and obsessing on all of these things can take the Believer’s focus off where it needs to be.

It may take some time to pull yourself out of the doldrums, but lingering in the darkness is not where God wants us to be. We are called to walk in His light, to be a light for His kingdom.

No matter what changes your relationship status goes through, one thing remains constant. Your relationship with Christ will never end! Be Complete in Christ! Hold fast to the promise. Your earthly relationships may change or end, but not His!

Lady Porn

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Ladies, don’t think you are immune to the trap of pornography. According to XXXChurch.com, 49% of women found pornography an acceptable way of expressing sexuality. Thirteen percent of women admit to viewing pornography at work and one of every three visitors to porn websites are women. Even worse, 34% of church-going women admit to looking at pornography.

This is not a conversation about whether a novel you might have read is a version of porn. No, this is a reality that graphic erotica is gripping females just as it does males, and the stats show this issue is on the rise.

Porn is a Lie.

In Romans 7, Paul talks about the desire to do good but still falling into sin, until the power of the cross takes over your life. As a single adult, you may think that looking at pornography is okay since you are not in a relationship. We have even heard singles say it is acceptable because they may never find someone and that is an outlet for them. But, Matthew 5:28 tells us that even looking at someone in lust is committing sin in our hearts.

Hebrews 12:4 says, ”In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” It is a sin, and yes, the Lord expects you to live a life free of pornography. Have you truly resisted in your fight with pornogrphy? To the point of shedding your own blood?

As a single adult male or female, one day you may find someone and enter into a relationship. Your choices as a single regarding lust and pornography will be an issue. Marriage does not fix lust and addiction to pornography.

It is a heart issue that needs to be dealt with immediately. If you need help with breaking this addiction, please visit xxxchurch.com for resources and internet-accountability tools. But, remember, there is NO internet accountability tool that can keep someone from finding pornography. But there is the strength of Christ to avoid seeking it.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10

Take a stand in your heart and before God, then find an accountability partner to make it “Not an Option.” Make porn “Not an Option” in your life and walk in a new light, free from the darkness of pornography.

Let Your Yes be YES!

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Let’s be honest. Singles are horrible about waiting until the last minute to commit. After all, something better, more fun, cooler, even a date!– might actually come along. We wait to reply yes on Facebook in fear that if we say yes then a better offer might come along. Singles even often use the phrase “planning on it” as a way to say yes, but something could happen.

When the Sunday School list to sign up for breakfast next week comes around you pass it on because you have not even committed to coming next week to church. A mission event is posted to our Facebook group. It sounds fun but is it the best option? Maybe something else will come up before then and cause you to choose the other event over the missions outing.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever thought or done any of the above. We see you. We hear you. We’ve done it too.

We need to be seeking the Lord’s path. By not discerning the choice He wants us to make, we can chose incorrectly. It is only with HIS strength that we can choose and choose wisely. When we are called and respond with a yes, deciding at the last minute that you aren’t in the mood or you’d rather go hang with that other group, is the wrong choice. Foregoing God’s choice for our own choice should not be an option for a Christ Follower. God’s Word is clear. We need to be followers of Christ that commit to our actions

When you commit to anything, do so like you are committing to God. Learning to commit in the small things will result in being trusted to commit in the bigger things in Life.

Be like Abraham.

By faith, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was  going to receive as an inheritance; he went out not knowing where he was going.

(Hebrews 11:8). (ESV)

Be a Person who commits to where they are at.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

(James 4:13-17) (NIV)

Be a Disciple of Christ.

And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

(Luke 14:27) (NIV)

Be a one word answer person

But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

(Matthew 5:37) (NIV)

Say yes to the singles event. Say yes to the local mission. Say yes and commit, knowing full well that God has something big planned and you don’t want to miss it!

I Pharisee

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When I look in the mirror, what do I see? When I ask myself the question, “How am I doing as a Christian?” What measure do I use to answer?

In Western Christian circles, the term “Pharisee” is normally used, particularly in a religious context, to describe someone as mean spirited, legalistic, and hypocritical. This is a caricature of a conservative religious group presented in the New Testament. When Pharisees are mentioned in the New Testament, the text often presents them in an unfavorable light. Jesus debates the Pharisees, rebukes the Pharisees, and warns His disciples (and everyone else) not to imitate the Pharisees.

Early in His ministry, Jesus confronted the root problem associated with Pharisaism, “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ ”  – (Matthew 15:7-9)

In spite of these harsh words, the Pharisees continued to interact with Jesus and His disciples. This interaction, was honest enough that a significant number of this group accepted Jesus as their Messiah and became believers. We know this because Acts 15:5 mentions them by name, “But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying ‘It is necessary to circumcise them [non-Jewish Christians], and to command them to keep the law of Moses’”.[emphases added]

This reality forces me to consider two implications. First, whatever feeds Pharisaism, in terms of mindset or worldview, survived the initial transition from Judaism to Christianity. This implies that Pharisaism is not restricted to unbelieving legalists, but is a real threat to believers today, even those who are painfully aware of their own need for grace. Peter, for example, falls prey to this influence, briefly requiring Gentile Christians to “Judaize”, live like Jews (Gal. 2:14).

Second, while Jesus linked Pharisaism to hypocrisy, that hypocrisy is inadvertent. Like Peter, most Pharisees (and “Judaizers”) are sincere in their desire to please God. This implies that Pharisaism is a deceptive error, not a willful rebellion, that causes us to act in ways contrary to the God we claim to serve.

The problem with Pharisaism is that it teaches cultural expectations as if they are God’s expectations. It encourages believers to evaluate themselves and others based on the vagaries of cultural expression instead of the “sure word” of God’s promises. It replaces conviction with social pressure and discipleship with social conformity.

So I ask again, when I look in the mirror, what do I see? If I am evaluating myself by how often I attend service, where or to whom I minister, or even how much I study scripture and pray, then I am looking at a Pharisee.

A Profile of Singles: Widows

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A Deeper look at Widows

At Table for One Ministries we are passionate about reaching singles of all ages and backgrounds. In this series of blogs we are looking at the “profile” of each type of single adult. While these are not all encompassing, they are meant to help singles and those who lead singles understand that type of single adult better or in a different light. We WELCOME feedback and additions to these profiles as we grow our ministry!

Characteristics of this Group

Seventeen million widows live in America. Their average age is 57, with an average of 14 years of being alone after their spouse has passed away. Widows are not only little old ladies, but young fathers who lost their spouse to cancer and women who lost their spouses during war. Too often widows are characterized in the wrong light and the church fails to target them properly. Some widows may remarry while others choose to stay single. Many feel awkward in a singles group, while most find that after their spouse passed away they have more in common with singles than ever before.

Ministry Needs in this Group

Widows desire to have deep relationships like the ones tragically taken away from them. No one chooses to be a widow, so building a ministry sensitive towards widows is vital in connecting them to a group of singles. Widows need a support structure and opportunities to move forward after the passing of their loved one. This group does not need to be isolated from a singles ministry at large; however, they may take time after becoming a widow before integrating with singles. Widows may be single parents and need help with adjusting to parenting alone. Widows can also have a former spouse. A person who has been divorced could have a spouse pass away, and while the connection may not be as strong, it is still a process for them to go through with grief.

Communication Strategies for this Group

Widows need to know there is a loving place for them to find community. There does not need to be a push to get them into a singles group, but space to process feelings and emotions that ends with opportunities to interact with other singles. Since so many widows stay single for over a decade after the loss of their loved one, singles must connect with them to offer a similar structure to what they had prior to the loss of their loved one. E-mail, phone, and text messaging are great avenues to work with widows as they are more personal than social media outlets.

Strategy for Reaching this Group

Widows may have needs such as cleaning around the house and running errands to the store and doctor, although statistically widows do not fit that circumstance. Reaching out to widows starts by having an active griefshare ministry in a church. In this ministry, community and processing grief become vital to growth. Widows take different amounts of time to process their grief, but singles ministry must be prepared to reach out to them and offer community. In the church, singles need to be a part of running griefshare ministries to provide a bridge to the singles ministry. Widows are rebuilding their social interactions for months and years after their spouse passes away.

Resources

Cornish, Carol. The Undistracted Widow. Wheaton: Crossway, 2010.

Rodgers, Joyce. Grace for the Widow. Grand Rapids: B&H Publishing, 2010.

Silvera, Jennifer. Believe: A Young Widow’s Journey Through Brokenness and Back. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2009.

 

What do you think?

Do you agree with this profile of single adults who are widows? What resources or information would you add?