I had a recent conversation with a friend who was frustrated with the “Singles Ministry’s” efforts to provide programs that would effectively engage young singles and men in particular for available young women to interact with at said programs.
This friend being a Christian and an Atlanta resident, has frequented several churches’ Singles Ministry initiatives in hopes of meeting wholesome available bachelors.
To her dismay, these events usually have more female than male attendees (congruent with Atlanta’s female to male ratio) and she has proposed the following rationale: the programs are not appealing to young men. Other reasons proposed by us both: the grouping of all singles together is ineffective and the church’s overall lack of room for youth (don’t worry I’ll explain).
Alright for her first notion:
1) Singles Ministry events don’t appeal to men.
My friend used the example of an advertised “Saturday brunch” is not appealing to heterosexual men. At least not young men. I have to agree, not in our culture. I mean brunches are usually referred to when women would like to meet in pairs or groups, or when a bridal or baby shower is being planned.
When is the last time you heard two heterosexual men look at each other and say, “Hey let’s do brunch on Saturday!”?
Hopefully never. ; )
2) The grouping of all singles together is ineffective.
My friend said, “What do I have in common with a 45 year old divorcee with two kids?”
I would have to say as a 29-year old, never married, no kids, my friend is probably not interested in meeting the same guy as the woman listed in my above mentioned example.
What say ye church?
Don’t get me wrong I am familiar with churches who attempted to eliminate these barriers, but I’ve also seen those who could care less.
3) Lack of Room for Youth
Hold on to your seats for this one ; ).
Growing up in the AME Church, being a member of a non-denominational church during my young adulthood, and now with a Baptist Membership I have noticed some disturbing trends and through various conversations with people from my generation, I know many others share my sentiments.
Few have taken the leap I’m taking, to actually make a statement about it though.
Why do we have to wait until a “Youth Sunday” to allow church members of age 38 years and below to be in leadership positions (not puppets) have an opportunity to speak at the podium and let their voices be heard. I would have to say even when it comes to service and missions, young people in church are dictated what they will be granted “permission to” carryout, instead of being granted a leadership position to make such decisions.
During times like these, we can’t afford to “wait for someone to die” to make a difference in the lives of others and carryout the great commission.
The time is now for young people (adults, teens, and children) to become active in church!
Will you make room?
It is not the religious tradition that turns youth away, but the lack of appropriate roles.
Without room, we run the risk of losing very talented people within our congregations.
Remember Jesus was in his early thirties when he was performing miracles. ; )
God bless you!
‘Till next time ; )