It’s time to stop looking upon single people with suspicion and instead thank God for them.
Yesterday, I talked about the problem that many churches have when it comes to treating the singles in our churches as whole and equal to the marrieds. Notably, however, singles have been critical to the spread and influence of Christianity. Today, I want to discuss where we go from here.
So what do we do? Below I share three ways we can integrate singles fully into the life of our churches.
First, be careful with your language.
One of the problems we have is our language. For example, when we talk about our churches, we often ask things like, “Are you a family-centered church?”
What does this even mean? Most of us would recognize there are many different kinds of families in life and in the church. There are blended families. There are single-parent families. There are nuclear families, traditional families, multi-generational families. You might know you mean to include all of them when you say “family-centered,” but most people are going to imagine a nuclear family – two parents and their children – when you say it.
You might even mean “families” to include singles, but almost no one is going to hear that.
Similarly, it is incorrect to describe our churches as having “singles and families.” This makes it seem like the single people are on the outside. When I’m talking about issues of race and ethnicity, I usually include several different examples of races and ethnicities. I might say “Thank God for people of African American and Anglo and Latino and Asian backgrounds, and many others.”
In the same vein of thinking, I might say, “We thank God for single people and married people and blended families.” Include some other people in your list. …
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