As a single, how can I support the families in my church?

Chapter 4 of 7 Myths about Singleness was a special blessing to me. I had never thought about how literally I can take Mark 10:28-30. Since God has given me a family in the church, I want to do a better job of serving them. I’m looking for practical ways to do this.

  • Did any of you have a similar response to chapter 4, “Singleness Means No Family”?

  • Did God lay anything specific on your heart that you can do for your church family?

  • If you are married and/or have children, has someone in your church done something special to build up your family? Could you share that with us so we can learn from their example?

  • What small things can we do that don’t require great time commitments but communicate love to those around us?

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I edited this question yesterday because my original wording was vague and hard to answer.

I see needy people at church, and I want to reach out to them, but I don’t always know how. One idea has been on my heart, though. In the message The Art of Conversation Vince Vitale said that he prays before family gatherings about the conversations he’ll have. Church is a family gathering, right? A couple months ago I started praying about my conversations at church, and it was fun watching God answer those prayers. I want to do more of this in the coming months. It may not be a big idea, but I’m confident God can use it.

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@Jennifer_Wilkinson, that’s amazing! I’d never thought about applying Vince’s conversation strategies to a church setting. I’ll have to try that. :smile:

I’ve actually not read the book, but as a single woman, I’ve been interested in the conversation happening here. As I am 4000 miles away from my biological family, I often refer to my church as my family. At the moment, we are quite small, so it’s easy enough to find a way to serve though it. If my memory serves me correctly, you’re a musician, are you not? As a musician myself, I find the biggest way of serving my ‘family’ is through that avenue. From there, I try to manage what hospitality I can. :slight_smile:

Getting to know my friends’ young families has also been a great blessing, as my own nieces and nephews are back across the pond. I have seen many single and childless married couples serve their friends by babysitting so that Mom and Dad can get away for a bit. One party gets the joy of being the aunt/uncle for the night, and one party gets relief for a couple of hours. Ha!

How do you tend to find yourself serving?

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Thanks for jumping into the conversation, Kathleen! These conversations are about applying God’s Word to our lives, so it’s a book discussion in which no one has to read the book we’re discussing as long as we’re all in the Bible. :open_book:

You asked how I tend to serve. I’m involved in the music ministry and women’s and children’s ministries at church. I’m stretched to the breaking point, but reading Sam’s book opened my eyes to more needs around me. I need ways to reach out that won’t make me collapse physically. I’ve come up with the following ideas:

  • Help with children’s church when I’m not needed. If I’m not the teacher, I can show up and interact with the children in a more relaxed fashion.

  • Watch for times when I can ask for or accept help from other people. I’ve loved Ivy’s comments about this on the podcast. It’s a great relationship builder when we admit our need and let someone serve us. I’m just not very good at it.

  • Ask for advice. I’m blessed when moms ask me for an opinion on something rather than treating me like a know-nothing single. I can return the favor by showing respect for their expertise, especially when I’m planning a lesson for the children.

  • Write short notes of encouragement to some of the mom’s I know.

  • Work on my relationship with God, so I’m better at being vulnerable with people. In chapter 3 Sam Allberry said, “…it is a gift to have someone who knows your soul, knows the best and worst about you, yet through it all is deeply committed to you.” I’m frightened to let anyone get that close. I’ll be vulnerable to a point, but I’m so afraid of rejection or condemnation that I keep a wall around a certain part of my heart. God has been speaking to me about letting Him knock the wall down, so He can be my fortress. Only then can I be for my church family what they really need me to be.

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