RiverLife Weekly #31: Singles & Discipleship
In discussing discipleship at home, Dinah and I have asked the question, what about singles? We have had long conversations with single friends and pondered on this area. Here are several things we have learned so far on what discipleship can look like for singles.
1. NURTURING PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
The relationship that Paul has with Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:2-3) depicts how church is family – journeying with singles; embracing singles in family activities and sharing the joy and messiness of families. I grew up seeing my parents reach out to singles over weekends and festive holidays and giving the gift of hospitality and their company.
Church as family can also take the form of singles investing in relationships with other generations - for example, by participating in multi-generational cell groups comprising members in different life stages.
2. INITIATING DISCIPLESHIP RELATIONSHIPS
Invite someone to meet over coffee or tea for an hour regularly to read a book of the Bible and pray together. Invite someone to come over to talk and pray while your children nap. Ask someone if they could meet you near their workplace over lunch to talk about faith and life.
I fondly remember my Timothy, who was single at that time, staying over in our home. On other weekends, Dinah would have her Timothy who was single stay over. They literally saw our children grow up. All these relationships started with someone taking the initiative.
3. LIVING WITH OTHER BELIEVERS
In biblical times, living in community with other Christians was the norm. This happened either in one's own Christian family or in the extended family of one’s parents.
When I was a single (and a foreigner), I lived in a ministry house for over a year. A ministry house seeks to promote discipleship through communal living and spurring each other to a lifestyle of commitment and obedience to Christ. In my case, a married couple with 2 children and I rented a flat together and we enjoyed the benefits of a Christian community. We hosted a cell group, functioned as a ministry base for our church and sought to provide a spiritual environment with some of the emotional support found in a family unit.
4. SERVING TOGETHER
God intends for single people together with married people to shape the depth of ministries in the church. Singles can serve as mentors to those younger and in this way, partner to disciple the emerging generation. Ministry is about multiplying spiritual children or making disciples.
Singles have the privilege of fewer familial responsibilities and greater flexibility to love and serve our spiritual family. The church will be blessed as the body of Christ works together in unity.
May we as a church family embrace and disciple our singles.
Pastor Ben KC Lee