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The sentiment of concern over outreach to singles by churches in the United States was echoed by Nathan Keeler, pastor of a young adult congregation overseen by Mc Lean Bible Church in Virginia.Keeler, who oversees a youth-centered outreach called "Citywide", told CP that churches have "a major need within the church to reach young adults and singles." "We do not have enough pastors and staffs that are engaging the culture, giving opportunities for young adults and singles to have a voice and responsibility within the church and putting resources toward this effort," said Keeler.
This is definitely the beginning of new movement and we are early in to this new paradigm of ministry." Some involved in singles ministry have seen improvements in American churches' overall efforts to minister to the unmarried.
Georgina Agyekum of the multisite Maryland-based First Baptist Church of Glenarden, noted that her church's singles ministry was about 20 years old and included about 300 to 400 singles in its ranks.
"I believe the church is starting to do a better job reaching out to singles because of the realization that healthy singles lead to healthier marriages, families and communities," said Agyekum. " Agyekum advised that congregations looking to create a singles ministry "should also align with other successful ministries in order to glean from their best practices." "Finally churches should identify strong stakeholders that will champion and promote the ministry," continued Agyekum.
To build a strong singles ministry, Agyekum told CP that churches should look at "how to develop relatable programming that will meet singles where they are and guide them to where they desire to be as it aligns with the word of God." "When starting a singles ministry churches should first consider the needs of the particular demographic of their unique singles population," said Agyekum. For instance, are they young adults matriculating into the working world searching for their identity? While believing that not every church needed a singles ministry, Swiatocho of The Singles Network Ministries told CP that congregations need to reach out and give singles participation in church life.
someone who isn't married from 18 to the grave." Swiatocho also told CP that there are multiple factors leading to this state of invisibility, including competition from other ministries, a lack of funds, "high turnover" for members, and a lack of demand from many congregations.
"We need more pastors trained to minister to single adults but we need more churches to want single adult pastors that will create the jobs for them when they do graduate," said Swiatocho.