IAM SINGLE.

I have close friends. I date. I find my vocation fulfilling and challenging. I am satisfied with my life—except for one thing. There is no place in the church for me.

In a June 4, 1976, editorial, CHRISTIANITY TODAY charged that the church still believes that single people are abnormal. That’s true in 1978. Most church singles programs seem to be designed for lonely misfits in need of therapy and counseling. Even current literature about Christian singles succumbs to this faulty concept, as William Lyons did in A Pew for One Please. He said, “I believe—I believe very strongly—that single people have a great need for psychological help; and in great part this need could be met through participation in a church singles program” (p. 107).

I won’t go to that kind of program. I don’t have a great need for psychological help. I need a singles group that accepts me for who I am—a whole person—and that will meet my needs for Christian fellowship and spiritual food without insulting my personality.

For a single balanced person, that sort of group is almost impossible to find. Fortunately I found one, and its characteristics reveal principles that will create a group appealing to any normal single adult.

First, we lead ourselves. This is crucial, because bringing in a professional to lead a singles group shouts loud and clear that the church does not consider the single to be an adult capable of leadership. Does the church hire a marriage counselor to teach Sunday school classes of adult married couples? Then why is a professional needed to babysit adults who happen to be unmarried?

Therefore leadership should be assumed by members of the singles group. The group I attend perhaps has an extreme version of that philosophy, for ...

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