Wanting to more fully understand the needs of singles within our Conference, we interviewed Reuben Etuale, member of Xcell 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?
Recognising that singles have a role to play in supporting and strengthening their church and involving them would hopefully provide mutual benefit to both parties.
If relationships are a “two way street”, could it be that travelling with another, i.e. the church involving singles in various roles in their ministry and singles putting themselves out there to participate in church ministry and activities could encourage closer understanding and lead to stronger relationships on many different levels. The activities I refer to are not just Sabbath Service activities but the family, school, professional and leisure activities a church may be involved in e.g. small groups, pathfinders, student groups, sports competitions, opportunities for everyone to share their faith, skill or life experience with another of God’s children in church or in the community.
If your church is already doing this well, then, how does your Church do this?
At Xcell Church, the time between inviting someone along to church and inviting them to contribute in praise and worship, church service, social events and/or life development and community programs is just enough to catch your breath and take another as your discipleship opportunity to Reclaim, Reconcile, Restore, Revive, Release kicks in.
Singles either participate in or run church ministry, small groups (Cell), prison ministry, food baskets for those struggling in the community, community social/game events, Conquering Conference, Couples Conference or Re-Man – a men’s ministry based on the Authentic Manhood series. Contributions by singles in these programs have seen those singles strengthen in their relationships with their God, church, family and community as they reach outwards in all directions to share their faith.
What advice would you give to single people looking to feel more included in their church?
You may feel included looking in from the sidelines, but you can only contribute if you’re involved – observations don’t necessarily translate to action and relationships strengthen with work (involvement). You have a choice to contribute where your talents will be best used and even if your experience/confidence doesn’t tell your mind you are ready to get up the front, there still has to be a strategist calling the plays and that may be you. Either way, front or back or on the sidelines, you have to be “at the game” (read in church) for God to call you in to the play. Put yourself out there for your church and enjoy a relationship-growing experience both in Christ and personally.
Contributed by Reuben Etuale, Member of XCell Church