“The church picnic is this Saturday! Every FAMILY should bring enough for themselves and extra to share!”
“A church-wide fellowship is planned for Sunday evening. All families of the congregation are invited!”
” A comprehensive study of the book of Jonah starts Sunday in the Young Marrieds Class”
Have you ever noticed that we live in a couple-oriented society? Every event seems to be indicating an activity planned for couples or families. Yet………
The scene of society is changing rapidly. Statistics show that ten years ago in 1966, there were 10 million singles in the United States. Today, 1976, there are approximately 50 million singles (approximately one single person for every married couple……….. (fade……………………)
Amazing isn’t it. In 1976, Gary Beauchamp recognized that the power and potential of an increasing populace of singles was being exploited in the world. Yet, the church was SLOW to respond to the needs of singles. In any congregation, a person who is single, albeit through death, divorce or decision is a nonentity. They might be present for every service but not be known by leadership, budgeted for in meetings or have a relevant Bible study offered.
Today, in 2015, almost 40 years later, the number of singles has doubled. At this time, not a single church of Christ in Florida has a full time paid singles minister and few have deacons or elders responsible to this population. Few churches budget for the unmarried. Singles are treated as less important in the church if they are thought of at all. In a world full of trial and temptation, more and more of the unmarried are left out of the plans of the local church at a time when most churches are decrying decreased attendance and contribution. Half the population is not even invited to attend.
It must be “bad” to be single. Yet, the apostle Paul recommended the single life in 1 Corinthians 7:7-8. He called it a gift. Jesus saw singleness as a gift for some in Matthew 19:12. Of course, Jesus was a single man.
Somewhere along the line we seem to have picked up an odd opinion of what being single is. Many see singleness as a failure or abnormality cured only by marriage. And marriage is a challenge that many cannot conquer. God didn’t show favor for or against a person regarding their marital status. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is the priority regardless of this. Having Christ does not take away human desires for companionship. Nor does marriage. If a person is married for several years and they suffer the loss of a spouse because of death or divorce, the basic needs and drives remain the same.
In my opinion, the local church congregation has a responsibility to honor and nurture a person’s relationship with God regardless of whether they are single or married. 51% of the population is single. Let’s serve them equally!