Living SINGLE in a "Doubles Church"...

I am a "never married, no kids" very educated, military veteran. I'm very, very single--and have no "aching in my soul" for that "ideal woman." While I wholeheartedly endorse the institution of marriage, and believe that God created a wonderful thing in the marriage relationship, I am happily single.

In another forum, I posed this topic: "Living Single in a Doubles Church"....Here is just one of the responses that I received:
Ninety eight percent of the churches you see do NOT know what to do with a single individual. You let a Barbie and Ken couple with two or three kids drive up in a mini-van and three kids bail out-they will be all over them-the church is designed for them.

Go over a pastor's preaching schedule and you'll find at least half of it devoted to The Christian Home, raising kids, family day, Back to School Day, a Big Family Christmas sermon, Church Family Thanksgiving Supper. Then there's Father's Day-where they recognize all the dads and Mothers Day- and it goes on and on.

Since I left my pastorate and I don't have duties on Sunday AM I've taken occasion to visit a couple of churches incognito-and you would be SURPRISED at the reception I get as a single man coming in, compared to the reception I get when I carry a wife and two teenage daughters in with me. It's just the way it is-at most churches.

Families are the dual-income tithers, they are the ones who pump the numbers and only take up one parking space. They look better on State Reports, speaking of which actually call Wednesday night Family Training Hour.

Basically Phil-a single is a pariah. We don't want you in our church because you can do little for us.
While I understand that the last statement was "tongue in cheek"...I often wonder how many "local churches" really do feel this way about their single congregants.

Here is my response to this person:
I'm glad that you labeled me a "pariah"....even though it is NO WHERE near the truth.... "you can do little for us"---oh, is that a fact?

Who else is going to head up the kitchen committee for the Sunday evening fellowship time after service (i.e, this means being at the church ALL day on Sunday...and spending the afternoon preparing for the "fellowship time" after the service).

Who else is going to help "give out a bottle of cold water" in the name of the Lord to all the "joggers" and "runners" who pass by the church neighborhood on a hot Saturday, or early Sunday morning?

Who else is going to take "vacation time" and work in Vacation Bible School five mornings a week...serving almost 300 kids?

Who else is going to help organize the "food and social time" after a large men's gathering of some 400 people on a Friday night in the dead middle of winter?

Who else will step up and fill in the last male part of an ensemble at the last minute on a Sunday that is already crammed full of activities--and lunch is probably NOT one of those activities..

Who else will be there to make the coffee for the entire Church (or those that will get there for Sunday School) at 6:15 a.m. on "Chicago Marathon Sunday"--the marathon runs right in front of the getting to the facilities early is a MUST.

Yep, that is me...."Brother Pariah"...oops, aka Phil...and other single people that serve the Lord and their local churches faithfully, week in and out...

The only ones bothered by "singleness" seems to be those who are not single anymore.

Go figure.

What do you think?


Tom Bryant said...

You hit a home run here. I was single and pastoring until I was 44years old. If I hadn't been a pastor I doubt I would have gone to most of the churches because even though I tried to lift up singles and single agains, it was not something that resonated within the church.

Oh wait, there was one way it helped... they always felt that I could be paid less because I didn't have a family to support and I could do extra stuff because "you don't want to be home alone" (wanna bet!).

Then there is the constant flow of people "I want you to meet".

That was a good post!

Bill M said...

I think any single person should come to my church. We have a great singles department for all ages. It's NOT a dating service. But it gives people who are single a better since of belonging.