He writes in the article that the word "ministry" and it's meaning has changed over the years and as a result, has affected the healthiness and growth of the single adults there at Long Hollow.
-----Talk to any number of people about what comes to mind when they think about a singles ministry and you’d get just about as many different responses. Turns out, “singles ministry” is a pretty polarizing term and there are a lot of people who had anything but an enjoyable experience in singles ministry settings. In fact, you’ll hear the words “creepy” and “awkward” used over and over. Also, to many people the word “ministry” infers something that is done FOR them, as in “we will minister TO you.”----
Now, I personally do not know Grant nor whether he has ever been single but I do, as a leader, as a teacher understand that sometimes we have to change our marketing strategies. That there are times that we stuck in ways of doing things that we are comfortable with but has no real traction with anyone else.
Now when I first read his article I was like, "ministry" to me means active, doing something for others, working together to help grow other singles, those who don't know Christ, missions work and so forth. And Grant says, yes at one time this would have been correct but for today at Long Hollow, it has become what are YOU going to do for me attitude. So how would you change that mentality? How do you still obtain the goals of reaching single adults, helping them in their walk, helping them to become whole without using the word "ministry?"
Well for Grant, he simply changed "ministry" to "community". Of course I instantly had a red flag because to me "community" means a bunch of singles come together to hang, build friendship, etc. That it doesn't mean you are actually doing any specific such as missions work, etc. But as I have allowed some time to ponder his direction, share with others, pray about it I realized that I, myself searched out for my church and its singles ministry because I needed community. "Singles come to church for community, for togetherness" as quoted by my good friend, singles pastor Don Munton of First Baptist in Houston. Sure, the word "community" might not convey that you hope they not only come to see each other, build friendships but we also hope they come together to learn about the Lord, to grow in Him, to build safe friendships that could lead to marriage, and to become a part of the whole.
So Grant, I appreciate your willingness to try something different. I have mentioned to several friends this week if I thought changed the word "ministry" to yikyak would work, I would do it. The message is the same, but sometimes the methods have to change.
Kris Swiatocho, Director
www.FromHisHands.com (Speaking site)
www.TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries (Resources for those leading single adults)
www.NavigateRetreat.com (Leadership Annual Event), Aug 28-29th, 2014
www.LaborDaySingles.org (Annual Event), Aug 29th-Sept 1st, 2014
UK Speaking Tour, May 22nd-June 2nd, 2014
www.YesMarketinganddesign.com (Design/Marketing Resources)
2664 Timber Drive, Suite 307, Garner, NC 27529
The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy but I have come to give life to its fullest. John 10:10