When I visit a new congregation for the first time, I always ask about who the singles are. Frequently, the minister or elders say, “we don’t really have singles here”. This statement perplexes me as I know research shows that 51% of the U. S. population is not married. When I push for answers, I sometimes hear the following, “well, Mrs. Jones is a widow and has 3 kids but they are in high school and don’t attend regularly.” “We have a divorced man and his kids come when he has visitation”. “We have 4 or 5 college kids but they are dating”. “Barbara has two kids but she isn’t living the single life”. So, the conclusion is that you have some singles that you don’t do much for and don’t go out of your way to get others into the flock. Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Except that it is a true statement. So, who are those single parents?
- The divorced lady with the unruly son
- The never married young lady who made a “mistake”.
- The YOUNG widow and widower who make everyone else uncomfortable.
- The older widow who just wants to get out of the house.
- The military spouse (yes, married but alone) who needs extra involvement.
- The parent of the special needs child.
James wrote that pure religion is taking care of the widows and orphans….time to start!