Where are all the single people?
Have you ever been to a Christian event and thought, ‘Where are all the single people?’ Last year I went to a Christian conference and spent the whole week thinking this exactly as I looked across a sea of worshipping hands with wedding rings on.
I had been a married Christian for 8 years and so I’d never had this thought before, I’d never even considered the ratios of married to unmarried Christians in my friendship group. However two years of singleness has shown me how difficult it can be to meet other single people. Especially if you attend a smaller church, or if you are in your 30s or 40s, or if you, like me, are a single parent who spends most evenings watching Gossip Girl repeats and eating too much halloumi cheese.
While I was at the conference I felt God was calling me to start a network where we honour and bless single Christians by running quality events that would bring people together in a relaxed, non-church environment. So Honoured was born and since last summer we’ve been busy running events and growing our following in Nottingham and now London and Manchester. We’ve run tapas evenings, games nights, single leaders’ events, and socials for different age groups.
It’s been an exhilarating adventure and incredibly daunting. However at the heart of it is a one idea:
People are better connected.
Whether it’s for romance, friendship, or just to meet other people in the same boat as you. And it also struck me that running a singles event is actually very simple. If you are frustrated with how hard it is to meet other single Christians in your area, I’d really encourage you to give it a go. Here are my 3 top tips for running a meetup…
1. Be brave
It takes a lot of courage to plan a meet up or event. As a single person you might feel embarrassed about running an event and putting yourself out there. You’ve no idea how many jokes I’ve had to endure about Honoured existing purely for me to find a boyfriend! However I can tell you from experience that the exhilaration that comes from running singles events is well worth it. Personally I feel like it has also deepened my relationship with God as I have had to rely on him, ensure my whole identity is secure in him and trust in him to use my steps of faith to build his Kingdom and bring him glory.
2. Get a core group
Start with a group of friends. Plan the meetup with them and make sure they can all come to support you. They don’t necessarily have to be single. In fact we often have married people helping to host our events as it can be less daunting for them to make introductions and make sure everyone is included and feels welcome. If you already have a core of friends there’s less pressure as you know, regardless of who else turns up, you’ll have a fun night.
3. Examine your definition of success before you start
Before an event we always refocus and pray through how we hope the evening will go. We always leave space for God to do the unexpected and we remind ourselves that if the event blesses just one person then it is a success. You might attract loads of people to your meet up or only a few but either way God will use your courage in stepping out.
We need more single Christians to step up and run singles ministries – there are some awesome things going on but still many areas where there aren’t events or meetups for people to access, especially events for those under 40. Events need to be run by single people because we know what type of events we’d like to attend and we’ll be the ones accessing them. However it will take courage from all of us and a step of faith – it’s not easy. But as with all risks we take following Jesus, he will always be faithful and the adventure will always be worth it!
You can find more help and ideas about running a ministry for singles or supporting single people in your church at singlefriendlychurch.com. And to find out more about Honoured go to honouredsingles.co.uk. Check out the meetup section of the Christian Connections site to post your meet up or to see what is happening near you.