This past July a book club launched at Midtown open to all ages and stages in life. The group has met every week for the past seven weeks to discuss 7 Myths about Singleness. We are celebrating as a church family what God has done in and through this study and the people who have attended.
“I’m so grateful for this group. The group is built around the church family. Singles want to be a part of the Church and we are! This group has reminded me of this. People can just ask you questions about anything here. We talk about jobs and how work is. We talk about baked goods and recipes. I’ve learned about other’s perspectives as we open up and share. I’ve learned to see singleness as a gift. I do have a little more free time to do things and to see what God can do at this time in my life. It’s so nice not to have that pressure, the questions of who you are dating, but instead, questions about your life and your day. Another good thing is every week I have been here, it’s so cool to see and hear how each table always tries to bring it back to Christ. Who we are in Christ. Our identity being in Him and nothing else.
I’m living on mission with these people, and we are brought together because we are single. We see more of what God is doing. I can do all these things and live on mission for God and not wait for when I get married. The Kingdom of heaven has opened more to me because I see it and understand it better now.”
“I thought this group was going to be so awkward, and only a few people would be here. But that has not been the case! I can’t help but think that there’s a lot more outside of the 70 people who signed up for this. There’s a need. There’s a thirst. It’s reassuring to know the other members of the church, especially pastors and elders, see this need and dedicate a space for the need. This group has been a true family environment.
The hardest chapter for me from the book was the intimacy chapter because I strive for that. The world is saying sex and intimacy is the same thing. We read and know that intimacy is the large pie and sex is one part of the pie. It helped me to know that I can have intimacy as a single guy. Quality time for me is important and I love to teach others. I felt a big connection with some of my friends and their children because I’m teaching and learning. Those deep conversations were life giving. For others in the group, it was the chapter on family. It grabbed their heart. There’s diversity in all of us but also with our emotions. I didn’t know that before this book club and it's made me grow in empathy."
“The group has been engaging. With most people the subject of marriage is talked about a lot. The public kind of doesn’t care about anything outside of that. For me, I like to hear different perspectives and in this group, I’ve heard from a bunch of single people who are all in different places. I like to be single and there are others who say they want to be married. We talk about how some have been left by others, or used by others, or being the ‘fifth wheel’ and all of that has been interesting to me. God is good.
I have noticed the people I have met here now are talking outside the group. It’s so cool to see this group of people who talk outside the group and do life together. I like to be engaged in discussion and there’s been a lot of that here and it’s not been dry, and you don’t have to pull words out of everyone. Someone is always willing to share.”
“It’s been eye opening for me to understand and realize the struggle in single people. I don’t struggle with the same, but it revealed to me that a lot of people do. I have heard from single people who are trying to navigate life and finding it difficult to live as a Christian and I’ve learned that I can be more inclusive to other singles. I am fortunate to be part of a group and with lots of friends. There are a lot of people who don’t have that. I want to be more intentional and to be more inviting. I really enjoy friends and creating opportunities for fellowship. This fellowship is cool. Meeting other people who are single is valuable. It’s fun to meet people who are in the same boat and to interact with others who have similar experiences.
I would encourage other singles by saying to them that being single is great. There is so much freedom. You can do so many things. I have friends who have married too early or didn’t take time to be wise. You tend to think the grass is greener on the other side. Marriage won’t solve this so why rush it? Just be patient and enjoy your life. Allow Jesus to use you. We are only here for a short period of time.”
“The idea for this book club came out of a letter to the church to start a conversation. A space for singles in the church and to ask, and maybe answer, the question “what can we do?” I’ve looked for single ministries all over the city and there are few options. I wanted a space for singles to get together and find community with one another. Not to necessarily exclude but to bring together.
We didn’t know what the response would be and when we saw that over 70 people signed up, with 40-50 people coming each week, affirmed that this space and community is needed. I have seen people enjoying the discussion and being affirmed by others as a single person in the church. Personally, it’s been nice to see that I am not alone. I think God is calling me to try and get something going for singles in the church. I have seen friendships form, people getting passionate to step up and advocate for one another, and I’ve seen people step out of loneliness.
My hope is that this group grows into a ministry and continues to offer community building opportunities and not just singles, but anyone, no matter where they are in life can be included. I would love to see this group embraced by the church just like how Paul describes it in the Bible ...as a gift.”
For more information on joining a discipleship group or city group for singles, please email Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org