There’s one group in a church that is sure to send a shiver up and down the spine of some single Christians. It’s an interest group of sorts that brings together people who are at the same stage of life. Some are grateful for it and some are very, very wary of it. It is the Singles Group.
Single people see the Singles Group in a variety of ways. There are those who see it as a group of (single) friends getting together and going out doing things that you would or wouldn’t do by yourself. Going out to dinner, for example, is a lot better when you are with other people and not by yourself. Besides, there are some places that aren’t really suited for a person on their own and you also get the added benefit of enjoying the company of others who are in the same situation as you.
Then there are those who see a church Singles Group as the church’s secret matchmaking club or a meat market. Men, especially tend to view it in this way. They think that every woman there has a hidden agenda i.e. to find a husband. While this may be true in regards to some women, it isn’t true of all women who attend a Singles Group. The same goes with some women who may feel that they are being targeted by some men.
When a church forms a Singles Group some of them go to the extent of emphasising that it isn’t a place to hook up with someone of the opposite sex in order to combat the matchmaking club train of thought. It is a way of thinking that is sometimes very hard to break and if you decide to join a Singles Group for that purpose then you may not get the full benefits of making new friends.
Some singles mainly join groups for friendship and the opportunity to get out away from their lonely existence. Many single women or men don’t do it in the hopes of finding a partner. What would the point of having a Singles Group be if all it existed for was for the purpose of finding someone a spouse?
A Singles Group should be a place where people can relax and know that there are no expectations. A man should be able to join one knowing that he is accepted as one of the group as a friend and not a lamb being lead to the slaughter. A woman should not be pressured into joining a group just because her family thinks that it’s her best chance of finding a husband.
The main point of a Singles Group is to meet the emotional and most importantly, the spiritual needs of single men and women. Singles learn from each other how to cope in various situations. If you are going through a particular situation there is bound to be someone in the group who has gone or is going through the same thing – whether that be a man or woman. The group situation is also a safe environment to discuss things and to get to know other people.
The dilemma the church faces is to find a way for Singles Groups to thrive and not been seen as a matchmaking service. God has a plan for our lives and for some of us it could be singlehood either for a certain period or all of our lives. He wants us to be all we can be for Him and this may involve joining a Singles Group or starting one in your own church. The main thing to remember is that a Singles Group is not a place to find a spouse but it is a place to find God.