Today we noticed Scot McKnight link to a wonderful article on his blog Jesus Creed about single Christians in church that needs to be shared. At Missio Alliance Kris Beckert writes about her experience as a single woman in church and the pain and promise of singleness in Christian community.
For some of us, church involved an old familiar reminder of our childhood, while for others, it involved a spiritual seeking on our own. The truth is, as a single adult, it took many of us weeks to muster up enough chutzpah to enter into a strange church building into a service by ourselves, or months of invitations from a friend from work to bring us to an event or Bible study. But then we watched, listened – and wondered. Sermons always mentioned family – which we didn’t have, and any sermons or studies about love, sex, and dating came from married men with multiple children who have never known what it’s like to date online or be single in their late 20’s, in their 30’s, 40’s or 50’s. The nice people in the church foyer told us to go to their singles ministry – but we found it to be a gathering of post-college church kids or older widows and widowers.
Later she writes:
We can embody a different community who speaks in a voice that is different than that which singles hear in secular and religious culture. We can hold each other—both single and married—accountable to the standards set by God. We can look at singles not as lepers but as leaders—men and women with a call to ministry in worship, in their workplaces, and even in the pulpit. We can go out of our way to invite, to include, to eat with, and to grow close to those whose place or stage in life we may never have experienced but who we know can be complete in Christ. We can respect their struggles as real and their desires as God-given.