Thursday, February 7, 2008

"No place for singles"

a Biblical thought...
"No one cuts up a fine silk scarf to patch old work clothes; you want fabrics that match. And you don't put wine in old, cracked bottles; you get strong, clean bottles for your fresh vintage wine. And no one who has ever tasted fine aged wine prefers unaged wine." (Luke 5:36-39)

a Book thought...
In order to fulfill its calling as God's pilgrim people, the Church must courageously maintain flexibility in matters traditional. (p44 Needham)
a Dave thought...
The other day I was in a conversation with a former colleague of mine from my days at Tabor bible college. After the usual banter we got onto the topic of church, in which she let me know that she no longer attends. Without me having to even prod any further she said, "the church is no place for singles". These six words have been stuck in my mind the last week, and continue to disturb me. You see this is a conversation I had with many while I was a youth & young adults pastor and although we try and come up with answers there seems to be so much truth in this statement. I've observed that if a twenty-something hasn't started dating someone in church or has a position of leadership they often say good bye to attending a place of worship.
It seems to me in a world that is increasingliy becoming more singular, with now 1 in 4 households being sole occupied in Australia we are unable to adjust with societal changes until often it is too late.
The kingdom of God is a place for all cultures, all ages, all genders and both marrieds and singles alike, but until we are more reflective of the kingdom we will continue be helping some out the door. Maybe it is time not just to pray Your Kingdom Come but lets actually live it out in our churches.

Just a thought.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a single (senior now) and have been in TSA all my life. Yes, there have been the times when I have found myself not invited to things because of it butI have never allowed it to become an issue. If God had wanted it otherwise He would have provided the right person to come into my life. Better to remain single than marry the wrong person to fit into the mold. I have a huge circle of friends because I choose to be friendly and the majority of them are married. Where I find it more of an issue is when you go out with a group from work and they "expect" you to have a 'PARTNER'. This is the 'in thing'. I still go but without the partner and I still have a good time and am accepted. A lot depends on you. I will pray that your friend finds her way back to the Church and is accepted single or not. God has a place for all of us when we are open to Him. God bless you.

theshar said...

Hey Dave,

It would seem that this feeling is at least trans-tasman. I've observed numbers of singles leave over the last wee while. They usually started by 'shopping around' at other churches (perhaps looking to see if there were better fish in another pond) but sadly bit by bit they stopped going anywhere. It is a huge challenge to the church. I agree with "anonymous" to an extend that "a lot depends on you" but I dont think we can rest on our laurels. The crazy thing was Jesus was single...I wonder how he'd feel in the church of today.

blessings

Annie said...

I can recall someone telling me that i would be perfect for a leadership position if i was married. that seems to imply that the fact that i am not is a problem.
Whilst conversation is a good thing, it's living it out that seems to be the real challenge

Anonymous said...

Just something I noticed in the comment by 'theshar'. The question was asked 'how would Jesus feel in the church today?' Doesn't this person realise that if Jesus wasn't in the church the church would not exist. To me this seems a rather bizarre expression. Just wondering.

theshar said...

In response to anonymous's question of my comment about Jesus, I was imagining Jesus physically being around today as he was in the days of the gospel. If he walked in the doors of my church on sunday, how would he feel as a single man in his 30's. I was not implying that the church could be seperated from Jesus, although I have, over the years, wondered at expressions of church I've observed that seem to be more about carrying on a tradition or ritual and less about Jesus and the advancing of the Kingdom of God.

Anonymous said...

I would hope that if Jesus as a 30 yr old walked into my Church in the flesh on a Sunday that He would be welcomed whether He was recognised for who he was or not. At the Church I attend we always make visitors welcome and particularly anyone who comes alone. It is vital that we make everyone welcome - how else do we reach people with the gospel message of hope? Only this morning, someone came through our doors who was unknown to any of the usual attenders and they were welcomed with open arms and made to feel part of the fellowship. May God continue to help us to be so welcoming. God bless you