According to the North Carolina Family Council, among 30- to 64-year-old Christians, close to 40 percent are single—with that number rising as people age beyond 65. Yet single people often feel invisible within their church communities, which tend to emphasize family life. So how can we be more inclusive?
Mention positive single people as role models. If you’re a speaker or small group leader, include examples of single people. They might be from Bible stories such as Jesus, Daniel and Paul or Mary and Martha. Or they might be from history, such as Fanny Crosby or George Frideric Handel. And while you’re at it, broaden references to men and women’s vocations beyond breadwinning and parenting.
Include single people. Mention them in prayer. Invite them to join you for small-group gatherings such as movie nights, dinner parties and your kids’ soccer games, even when all other adults present are married. Single people need relationships with others from all walks of life.
Help them. Offer to join them as they hunt for an apartment or home. Tell them, “Call any time day or night if your car stalls on the highway or you find your home vandalized.” Ask them to sit with you in church. And send them home with yummy leftovers.
Whom can you encourage by reaching out?
MTL (More to Life) magazine is selling our new book, Sanctified Sexuality, for about $5 off. The book has a couple chapters relating to being single and celibacy.