Statistics show more than 60 million single adults living in the United States, and most of them don’t attend church. Many leaders of church singles ministries, who face the reality of those figures daily, have sensed the need for a national association.

Such an organization, the National Association of Single Adult Leaders (NASAL), celebrated its first year recently with a three-day consortium in Phoenix, Arizona. The invitation-only meeting drew some 100 leaders of single-adult ministries from 17 denominations. The association approved the opening of a national office and the appointment of Timm Jackson as full-time executive director. Jackson, minister to single adults at Grace Community Church in Tempe, Arizona, will open the national office in the Phoenix area. Members pledged more than $27,000 to cover start-up costs.

Single-adult leaders in southern California provided the impetus to develop NASAL. Bill Flanagan, minister with single adults at Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California, guided the organization’s development on a voluntary basis, aided by a national committee and nine regional representatives.

A number of participants at the Phoenix meeting have led singles ministries since the seventies. Many of those early programs were patterned after youth ministries. But it was quickly discovered that churches needed radically different means to minister to single adults.

Today, singles face a multitude of problems, including recovering from divorce and raising children alone, NASAL plans to publish a resource book to address the myriad areas of this growing ministry. The organization also supports annual training sessions in each of seven geographical regions of the country, aimed at providing lay leaders with the skills to make their programs more effective.


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