SINGLES AND THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
By Tony Maghakian
This is a subject very dear to my heart since I am a Christian who is single in the church today. The church, in my opinion, has become less of a family, and in some cases, more like a social club or business, causing many in the congregations to slip through the cracks. I feel that this is an important issue to be addressed, and hopefully, in time, will be resolved.
I have spoken to a number of singles in the church today and there seems to be a concensus among the majority of us; we tend to feel somewhat overlooked and neglected in the church. This, to me, is a very serious matter because it is obvious that in the case of singles, and I would have to include widows and many divorcees, there is a separation in the church family. I am someone who has visited a number of different churches and have, at times, been very involved, especially in the area of special music. I have noticed that the church has no problem accepting the gifts of a single person, but when it comes down to actually getting to know the person and their situation, not much effort is usually made. It seems that a person who has a mate and/or children, is much more accepted into the church today and receives a lot more attention then those of us who are single for some reason. The sad fact of the matter is that a single person needs more attention at church then someone who is married or in a relationship. The church should be a place of comfort and fellowship for everyone who attends. It should bring a feeling of acceptance and belonging to anyone who chooses to walk through the front doors on any given Sunday.
I long for the days of old when the early church family was gathering to share their meals and their goods with each other as they worshipped our precious savior. Theirs was a truly family oriented fellowship, who always placed the needs of each other in front of their own. I have to believe that they did not allow such a separation in their congregations as we do today. They too were busy raising families, working, and running businesses. But they also had to deal with something that we here in America have not had to experience, at least not yet. They had to experience the very true threat of religious persecution even unto death on a day to day basis. And even with all that they had to deal with, they chose to be a people who truly put Jesus first and cared for one another as family. I have to ask anyone who is a Christian, aren’t we all supposed to belong to one big family? So if this is true, why aren’t we treating each other as true family members in the church? Why are we always so busy and so preoccupied with other things that we can’t even see the need of so many of our precious brothers and sisters in our own churches? Why are we so anxious to get home after a Sunday service to watch a football game or to head to the mall instead of possibly inviting a single person or a widow/widower to lunch and getting to know them a bit?
These are all questions that we have to ask ourselves as well as answer ourselves. There are so many wonderful families in our churches today that could be such an enormous blessing to a single person if they would just take the time to reach out to them some Sunday morning. There is a very important ministry opportunity that is not being utilized and it is time to change that fact in our churches. A person who has been married for some time and may also have children, probably doesn’t remember how lonely it can be for a single person who has to go home to an empty house each day. So I have to ask, why should a person who is single even look forward to attending a church where he/she feels even more alone when they attend, then they would if they had stayed home?
So in closing, I ask you my brothers and sisters in the church who have families and means to help someone else, please take the time to get to know at least one person who is single in your church. We are not hard to spot. We are usually the ones who sit alone or in the back row unless we have friends to hang out with at church. I can guarantee to you that you will be incredibly blessed by the fellowship of one of these single people who will add a whole new perspective to your life if you just give them a chance. I can also guarantee that as I read about the early church in the book of Acts, I know that there was not one person who was overlooked or even possibly ignored in their midst. That is a wonderful concept to me as a single person who has no father, mother, or siblings to share in life with. May God bless you as you stretch a little out of your comfort zone and reach out to someone at church this Sunday who needs a kind and encouraging word and smile. It will be worth it, I promise.