The Single Life: Singles and Community

Earlier this week I wrote a post “A Hunger for Connection”. In it I talk about my desire to connect with others. It is a desire that we all have and yet in our increasingly busy society it is a desire that we push to the side.

We all need connection, and there are many of us who feel like we are on the outside or that we are all alone even when we are surrounded by other women.

We sit and listen to them discuss their children or the joys and woes of pregnancy. We hear their stories about how wonderful their husbands are or how horrible their husbands are in some cases.

We sit alone on Sunday mornings.

We dine alone most nights.

We go to the movies by ourselves and do the shopping by ourselves.

We are the single women in the church.

And we are just as hungry for connection as the married women in the church (if not more so).

For most of my adult life, I have attended small churches where there are not a lot of other singles.  Some of these churches have been wonderful about including me in things even though I am single. One church I attended would give me flowers on Mother’s Day because even though I don’t have any biological children I was a “mother” to many children in town through my preschool.

Other churches have not been so great about including me and welcoming me as a single woman. I have been treated as if I am invisible. I have actually had some married women tell me that they don’t think that we would have anything in common because I’m single, or there are those who now that they are married only want to do couple things. “Well, I would invite you, but it is only couples and I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable.” Then there are the ones who are afraid that you are a threat to their marriage just because you are single.

It can be tough to be single in the church, but singles need community too. Singles need to know that we are a part of the church. We need to know that we are welcome and wanted. We need to know that we are loved.

Making singles feel welcome in the church goes beyond the singles’ activities. It goes beyond the singles’ Sunday school classes. It goes beyond the singles’ groups.

Don’t get me wrong. Those things are important, but that is not all that the church can do to let singles know that we are loved.

Let’s start with the basics:

1)    Talk to us.

You might be surprised about what we have in common. You love to craft? So do I. You love to cook? Let’s trade recipes.

2)   Invite us for coffee or for lunch.

I’m not a coffee drinker, but I would love to grab a tea with you. Tell me about your family. Let me get to know you. Lunch is a great way to start.

3)   Send us a note.

Write a letter or send a card. Let us know that you care.

4)   Invite us for dinner with your family.

Yes, you read that correctly. Invite us into your home. Most of us love children and long to have children of our own so invite us to dinner with your family. It makes us feel as if we are a part of the family.

5)   Check with us around the holidays to see if we have plans especially if we don’t have family in the area.

 

6)   Have a Girls’ Night Out for all women

Personally I think this is one of the best ways for women to connect. Whether single or married who doesn’t love a night of pampering or chocolate tasting or discussing books or crafting.

7)   Become a mentor

We need mentoring and accountability too. Take us under your wing. Teach us how to be godly women. Teach us how to be homemakers and how to love our husbands before they are our husbands.

8)   Invite us to sit with you

Whether Sunday morning, Sunday night, or at a church dinner make room for us to sit with you and your family. In a place where we are to united I find it says a lot about a church to see people sitting off by themselves instead of sitting with others.

Now, singles, don’t think you are off the hook. We have to take responsibility for building community and making those connections too.

For me personally reaching out and trying to connect with others is difficult. It is out of my comfort zone, but I am just as responsible for reaching out to others as they are when it comes to reaching out to me. That list above applies just as much to us as it does to them.

A few other ideas for us to reach out and connect in the church:

1)    Offer to babysit

2)   Offer to host women’s events

3)   Get involved in the women’s ministry. Help with the planning.

4)   Teach Sunday school

5)   Start a Bible study

Whether we are single or married, we all have a responsibility to ourselves and to the church to connect with others. We are supposed to be one because Jesus and the Father are one (John 17) so reach out to each other and build those connections. Trust me you won’t regret it.

Now it’s your turn.Come and link up at…

TheSingleLife

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4 Replies to “The Single Life: Singles and Community”

  1. This post is all too true! I find it hard that even though I have a wonderful church family that though I will invite others to do stuff they will not invite me. There are a few other single ladies in the church but they aren’t as involved as I and still have to be the one doing the inviting. I’m fine alone most of the time, but I still like to get together sometimes. But being involved with the church helps a lot. Especially with the kids in my Sunday School class and on the bus. I spend lots of time with them, and that’s OK. It’s called investing. Hopefully one day people will realize it’s alright to invite me places too and I don’t have to do all the inviting! lol

    1. Yeah, I have that same problem. It seems like I don’t go anywhere unless I am the one doing the inviting, and right now it is hard for me to invite people because it is hard for me leave my grandmother alone.

  2. I crave adult connection. My best friend and I are super busy and don’t always get to meet up, but when we do, we talk about life and everything in between. I don’t have that in church. When other adults talk with me, it’s about kids. When they invite me somewhere, it’s to their kids’ bday parties. I mean, sure, I get it since I’m the Children’s Ministry Director but there’s more to me than that. Yet the only ones who seem interested in “reaching” out are single men because I’m the only single gal in church my age. It’s like a target on my back. You nailed me though when you said we also have the responsibility to reach out. I might have given up doing that, but you encouraged me to change!

    1. Oh, Angela, how I understand! I taught preschool for 19 years & on Sundays ran the nursery &/or taught the preschool class during Sunday School. I very rarely had adult interaction & when I did I felt so awkward. I didn’t know how to interact with adults or at least that’s how I felt. I did give up. It took me packing up & moving for me to even start to develop the confidence to try.

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