How to minister to singles? The same way to minister to married. Educate them about Jesus Christ, get them involved in caring for the community, and prepare them to handle challenges and temptations that the world brings us. The entire question of "how to minister to singles" indicates a view that considers singles to be very different individuals from the two individuals within a married couple. Perhaps this is not an actual view but merely a lack of knowledge about singles. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female," there is neither single nor married because all are "one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)
In the early centuries of Christianity, singles (celibates) were accepted and celebrated members of the Christian community for many reasons. Yet in this marriage-addicted culture, some people have used the bridal imagery of New Jerusalem (Revelations 21:2, 21:9-21) to the point of cliché where some people actually believe that marriage will make them more like Jesus, a man who never married. The concept of embracing singleness and its presumed celibacy is so controversial that one Christian told me "girl, you need help; you need to accept Jesus in your life!" So... because I enjoy celibacy, I need the help of a man who is celibate.
The author of redeeming singleness, Barry Danylak said "The church focuses on marriage and family, with the expectation that by focusing on family, you're encouraging singles to get married."
Some churches believe that the more heterosexual couples they marry, the more they strengthen the institution of traditional marriage. However, with such a fierce emphasis on marrying people, churches unintentionally advocate the belief that people need marriage to have personal fulfillment or to feel complete as a person. When pastors and congregations strive to matchmake singles, they convey the idea that there is something seriously wrong with the single woman or man - something seriously wrong that needs to be cured through marriage. And this belief of marriage as personal fulfillment or completion is what has hurt marriage as a social institution. People do not need to marry to experience personal fulfillment. People need to dedicate themselves to God.
The concept of marriage as key to fulfillment and personal completion is what has led to people marrying for selfish and subjective reasons - "what I want; my happiness; what I feel about this person." The concept of marriage as key to fulfillment and personal completion is what has led to heretical ideas about marriage. Confusing sex/love/marriage encourages heresies about Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
A recent article states: "One reason churches have not adopted singles ministries across the board has been the diversity of this demographic"
Why have a singles ministry at all? Why not have ministries dedicated to specific topics in the Bible? Prophecy, salvation, mercy, justice, etc. Diversity should never be a deterrent in establishing ministries when "all are one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)
"The church reverts to an over-emphasis on marriage as a one-size-fits-all solution, but biblical singleness is a solution, too, and we should preach and teach both," says Danylak.
Being single does not equal being lonely or alone. Genuine friendship provides wonderful companionship. Unfortunately, current culture is forgetting the importance and value of friendship. "Greater love has no one than this - than to die for one's friends" (John 15:13)
The best way to minister to singles is to not think of them as singles who need special ministering. Educate them about God, get them involved in caring for the community, and prepare them to handle challenges and temptations that the world brings us. Tend to the needs of the community to improve the community. One episode of Manna-Fest, Perry Stone said that 95% of church budgets are spent on church members with only 5% on outreach programs. Church congregations should spend more time improving their communities and less time planning in-group activities, less time matchmaking.
Strengthen both single's and married's dedication to Jesus Christ. The duty of the clergy and the congregation should never be matchmaking. The duty of the clergy and congregation should be increasing love, dedication, and obedience to God. When singles are truly dedicated to God, then they will obey what He wants for them. If God wants singles to marry, then He will provide husbands or wives for them. If God does not want them to marry, then that is perfectly fine in accordance with His will. And what He provides will be eternal.
Note: SeekerOfTruth, I did respond to your comments on an earlier article, and I appreciate your respectful tone and genuine interest in conversation. If there is anything I forgot to address, please ask again within that earlier article.