Hi “Need Ideas in CA,” so glad to hear from you. I am also glad God has called you to lead this ministry. You will find a ton of great resources on my website to help start, grow and maintain your site. So let me ask you some questions that might help me better to help you.
1. What is the age range of your group? Trying to reach all ages of singles is too large of a focus, trying being specific to the age you and your leadership team is.
2. How many leaders do you have, how many men, ages? We know statistically that leadership teams made up of mainly women (and men who are not really leaders) will only grow other women. If you group has the appearances of being run only by a woman and there are no strong male leaders, your ministry will have a hard time being successful. I encourage you to stop where you are and pray for God to bring you some men to help lead. You might even have to bring a married man into your ministry for a season to help reach and grow other men.
3. Are your leaders invested, do they know what is expected of them, do they have a job description of what they are to be doing and how to train others under them; are they recruiting other leaders as well? Please be sure to download my free guide on how to start a singles ministry, as it will go into greater detail with the answer to this question. Most singles groups/ministries I have found have leadership teams that are really a bunch of folks who come together and help to do whatever is needed to get something done. But without structure, training, people know what their job is and what is expected, how long to serve and how to train others, the ministry quickly falls apart. You wouldn’t want someone operating on you with that structure then why would you want your ministry too? Our leadership teams need to be with people God has called to lead. They need training, encouragement, prayer, and follow-up. How you pour into them should be how they pour into others to build their teams for the area of leadership they are serving. Does this mean I might not serve in more than one area or help, no. It simply means we know exactly what is expected of my roll and how to achieve it. It also allows me to teach others so the ministry continues even if my part doesn’t.
4. How often does your leadership meet to be trained, pray about the ministry and its direction? Another critical area I see happening is not only the lack of a leadership structure but also the lack of prayer for the ministry itself. How would you know what direction to go, ideas for growth, and ideas for reaching out if you are not praying as a group. Start to day to meet weekly even if it’s before your Sunday school, church or Bible study (and even if its with 2 or 3 at the start) and pray.
5. Does your singles group have a Bible study as a part of its gathering or is it mainly social? So many ministries are social based and to be honest, they won’t last. You cannot build a ministry on socials; they need to be building on the foundation of the Lord, His word, and His truth. So many singles groups are activity focused and often times the leaders get worn out. Remember, people are people. They are fleshly. They often come for themselves, not thinking of the Lord.
So this is my ratio: I meet weekly for Bible study of some kind that includes prayer and a leadership meeting (or have on an alternative night, maybe after Wednesday night church gatherings if you have one). I meet purposely for one Sunday lunch (knowing that most singles will go out all four Sunday’s for lunch) so that those outside my ministry can come including those from others churches. I have one social a month (or as I like to say "strategic fellowship"...a gathering where your leaders are position to look for new folks, network, oversee who is coming in and their agenda, encourage, pray and most importantly gather information to follow up, to involve and disciple). I have found that singles will meet, connect and have their own socials on their own. Socials I do not have to plan. Also, it encourages singles to be involved in the rest of the church, which is the ultimate goal of all singles ministry. If our ministry has activity after activity then when do singles have time to do or go anywhere else? So, again, 1 lunch, 1 social, weekly bible study/training...and I promise, they will hear about the other events going on within your church and outside your church, they will naturally make friends and go to the movies, go on a retreat, go on a missions trip, etc.
Note: With this formula I also encourage singles ministries to plan mission trips, retreats or even a conference based on how large and healthy they are. Remember too that there may be other churches doing things that you can be apart of without having to create it yourself.
6. Do you have the support of your churche(s)? It’s important with ministry that we have the support of our pastors and church/leadership team. It’s hard enough to lead singles but without their support, it can quickly kill a ministry before it starts. For more information, go to my basics page and my leadership articles for help.