Wanting to more fully understand the needs of singles within our Conference, we interviewed Carl Ginger, member of Parramatta Church, for insight on how the church can be more inclusive of singles, how singles can get involved in church life and how his church has developed their local Singles Ministry.
What can the church do to help single people develop stronger relationships at church or feel included in church life?
Invite single people to participate. If the answer is no, it just means not at this time. Being sensitively persistent will reap rewards. Consider children when planning events and cater for children. The children will appreciate and remember the fun times and have stronger ties to the church and their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Creating a fun and positive impressions in children which will reap rewards that are out of this world.
If your church is already doing this well, then, how does your Church do this?
Parramatta church is progressive and inclusive has a singles ministry. The church supports this ministry by making it’s facilities available for events and providing input and support for the activities planned. In addition Parramatta Church is supportive of this ministry being open to singles from Greater Sydney and beyond.
What advice would you give to single people looking to feel more included in their church?
My advice would be for singles to volunteer their skills, experiences, talents and time. Volunteering does not just help others but it helps us too. Often the church is not aware of the untapped skills, expertise and resources that singles could contribute. If we all contribute the whole will be greater than the sum of the talents of it’s members.
Knowing that we are saved as single people is a reminder that being single is OK and that God values every single one of us. It is different to being in a marriage relationship and at the same time it is not bad or scary.
Being single provides wonderful opportunities for personal discovery and creation of new destinies. The wider church family could benefit from the experiences and insights of single people and come to a more holistic understand what it means to be created in the Image of God. Mutual understanding can only enhance relationships within the family of God and break down fears, stereotypes and preconceptions that may exist on earth. This would enable the Church to go forward in more fullness and strength to achieve it’s Mission.