How You Can Help Single Women in Ministry Flourish
- Get to know singles as individuals. There’s a whole range of reasons why people are single and how they feel about their singleness. Ask questions rather than assume. “The assumption is that because everyone has been single at one point, they know what it’s like. But being single in college is completely different from what it’s like to be a single into your late 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond,” Mandy Fowler explains.
- Invite them to your celebrations. Tammy Melchien shares, “The hardest part for me is holidays when I can’t be with my family.” So if you’re going to the Fourth of July fireworks, throwing a birthday party, or hosting Thanksgiving, invite a single person along.
- Refuse to offer platitudes. God doesn’t promise marriage to everyone, but he does promise his presence. Stop yourself from saying things like, “God’s got someone for you,” and “You just need to wait on God’s timing.”
- Encourage good boundaries. To whatever degree you can influence your church culture, encourage people in ministry to be allowed rest, vacation, and good boundaries. This is crucial if we want to see single women succeed in ministry and stick around for the long haul.
- Sponsor, invite, and validate their ministry. Because there often isn’t a clear path to ministry for single women, they need people to help clear the way for them. Invite a single woman to teach at your ministry event, validate a woman’s gifts publicly, or sponsor a woman when your church is looking to fill key ministry roles.
For more practical ideas on advocating for single leaders, read “10 Ways to Help Single Women in Ministry Flourish.” If you are a single woman leader, check out Navigate Singleness in Ministry for practical tips.
Amy Jackson is associate publisher of WomenLeaders.com, SmallGroups.com, and Christian Bible Studies. She is a former small-group minister. You can follow her on Twitter @AmyKJackson.