Myth's of Single Adults
Measurable Goals for your Single Adult Ministry
There are several areas of goal setting that relate to almost any ministry including singles within the church*. Take a look at the examples below and ask yourself the questions that go with each one.
*These goals can be used in ministries outside the church, i.e. para-ministries such as Facebook and/or meetup, however, you might need to adjust to fit your specific ministry design.
1. Numerical Goals – In each of the programs/classes/events that you oversee, what would you like to see happen regarding attendance?
Depending on the size of your church and how many singles already attend, setting realistic goals to increase the number is needed. For example, if you want to increase the number of those attending Sunday school or a small group, looking at the overall singles church membership (if they are involved, serving, tithing) will change how you go about reaching more people.
Remember, singles ministry is just the gate to bring singles into the church. Ultimately you want to get them into all parts of the church. This might include other Sunday school/small group classes. Some singles might come from mixed classes back to singles but ultimately you want to reach singles who are either just attending church or are outside the church to increase your numbers. So, with this information, your strategy will focus more on outreach.
This will include training people on how to:
• invite their friends and neighbors
• how to involve those once you do get them to church/Sunday school
• how to keep them
For example, you might want to teach an Evangelism 101 class over a day or several weeks; challenging folks to share their faith, give out water bottles in the park or lake while inviting them to church. Then you might want to set a goal for each person to bring one new person each week or each month, etc. Another option would be to set a date for a “invite a friend” day. You can also have a quarterly training workshop on how to connect and keep folks once they are attending so they in turn can do the same. Having something regularly throughout the year makes it easier to evaluate and obtain your goals.
2. Program Goals – What new programs do you think you should begin?
Not every singles ministry needs to do what other ministries or churches might be doing, especially if your demographic can’t support it. Ask yourself the reason you want to offer a particular program and its value. For example, if you are offering Divorce Care*, are there divorced people in and outside the church who would attend. Depending on how many attend your first one will change how often you offer it in the future
Note: There is nothing wrong with supporting other local churches when they offer the same program at different times of the year than you do. In fact, you could work together to take turns or combine resources, specifically in doing a conference.
Other programs are: Celebrate Recovery, Griefshare, Trade-Day for Single Parents, Financial Peace, Single Parent Bible studies, Singles Bible Studies, Conferences, Retreats, Metro’s (Monthly gathering with band/speaker/meal), First Sunday lunches, Socials, etc.
* Most singles ministries nationwide offer recovery programs. However, some of them fall under the counseling part of the church, helping to offset the constant need for leadership and attendance within the singles ministry. The other programs are done only when there is substantial leadership to lead it as well as enough people to attend. There is nothing wrong with taking a break in-between Bibles studies, offering shorter studies, studies that have video on month (such as Jesus, Single Like Me by Kris Swiatocho) and/or going through a book of the Bible or offering quarterly socials. However, if your ministry is somewhat sporadic in connecting singles, then the results of the attendance and leadership development will be the same.
Note: You can find creative social and small group information on The Singles Network Ministries website.
3. Promotion Goals – What goals do you have for promotion within the church and the community to attract the people you are trying to reach?
Public relations is critical in the success and growth of all singles ministries. One third of your time each day/year should be devoted to coming up with strategies to building a positive image within and outside your church. So, having guest pastors from your church, (married) leaders teach Sunday school or guest speak, having singles getting involved in the whole church, having singles serve on finance committees, building committees, etc. will help in your public relations. Also, making sure singles are represented on the website where the singles pastor is listed and/or other leaders, having an updated and current calendar, update photos, etc. Finally making sure the teaching pastor understands who singles are within your church, offering sermon illustrations that prove it.
A way to measure this is every quarter (or more often) ask others in the church what they know about the singles ministry at the church. Their answers should affect change. If the welcome center doesn't know much about them, then perhaps more singles need to be working in that area. If people think your ministry is for dating only, work toward changing that perception by having the singles lead an outreach for the church or offer help in various places within the church. Getting married adults and single adults partnered in areas such as single parenting, helping people at their homes (elderly), counseling, etc. will increase the value of the ministry to those outside it. The more the church sees singles as a value, the more they will want us, keep us, invite us, and include us. This goal is a nonstop process.
4. Spiritual Goals – What specific goals can you set regarding salvation, baptisms, church membership, marriages, etc.?
Churches usually eliminate any ministries that aren’t producing fruit. Fruit comes by way of numbers, leadership development, serving, and tithing. So, what are your goals for the ministry in this area?
Are you believing God for salvations, baptisms and membership? Are you (pastor or leaders) meeting with singles each week for coffee, lunch, offering guidance in their walk with God? Are you directing them to other areas of the church that can also help them such as counseling or programing (Divorce Care/Griefshare)? Are you helping singles develop healthy friendships that can lead to healthy dating and ultimately marriage? Are you helping singles who are divorced and/or widowed, single parents develop healthy relationships? Are you praying with your singles and/or leaders weekly about the direction of the ministry (not just personal needs)? Are you then teaching singles how to do the same?
The way to measure this is to see people getting saved, baptize, attend regularly and getting healthier. Often singles ministries as they age can become full of unhealthy adults. This is why a focus on a regular basis for spiritual growth is important.
5. Leadership Goals – What would you like to see in the area of leadership in your department(s)? How many new leaders?… .Additional leaders?… .Different types of leaders?
Leadership is another area where you need to spend a third of your time developing. There is a great new resource on The Singles Network Ministries website called “Leaders That Last” Leadership Training. A 6-week course to help singles affirmed that they are called to lead as well as how to develop and keep the team.
Often, we find in most singles ministries the leadership structure is relationally based. Basically, everyone shows up and helps. This structure will never create outward growth. We have to have structure including job descriptions, expectations, amount of time to serve, training, etc. It all starts with a volunteer who gets training to serve in some capacity on a team who then becomes a leader and then duplicates themselves.
Note: I set up my volunteers to serve 6 months, allowing them to change the area they are serving in if need be. I also ask leaders to find their duplicate right away with the goal of building the team in the area they lead, so that we always have backup and future growth.
A way to measure leadership is by having team meetings at first each week until you develop the ministry. Then offering them once a month. At the team meetings you discuss the overall ministry, what is working and what is not, planning, how to develop leaders, prayer, etc. Remember your leaders lead the ministry. So, if they do not know what is expected, they cannot duplicate themselves.
Note: I also like to take them on a retreat once a year to help with growth and to say thank you.
5. Finances – What would you like to see happen in the area of money? Fund-raisers? Self-supporting?
Often in our singles ministries we try and give most of it away for free. We hear how singles don’t have any money or they are on limited budgets. I have found that singles pay for what they value. While there are exceptions depending on your demographic and income of those in your area, singles can pay more than you think. But the question is how much?
Setting up your expectations from the start on how much to pay for things, when to pay by, closing registration to teach singles to plan better, and having folks fill out a form to get a scholarship (and only giving partial ones) are important. Also setting up expectations of tithing to the whole church, offerings within the ministry, as well as fundraising events and their purpose and value.
It’s also important to communicate how much the church is willing to help in this area and what is expected of your ministry . For example, who pays for bringing in a speaker, a band, taking singles on a retreat, blessing leaders with a free book or dinner, lunches with singles, etc. If you are not able to see the value of these expenses in return of singles getting healthier, more singles coming/joining, leadership developing, etc., then perhaps you need to make some changes.
Remember we are teaching singles to be healthy in all areas of their lives including finance.
7. Overall growth – When you are starting, recasting the vision or measuring overall health of your singles ministry, offering a survey is valuable. Keeping the questions simple and easy to answer will allow you to know if you are going in the right direction. Surveys can be offered at a once a year “Singles Sunday” with a lunch afterwards, annual retreats and conferences, and/or online every month.
Remember you want to involve singles in the overall health and growth of the ministry. Asking them the types of studies they are interested in, socials (strategic fellowships), leadership training, spiritual training, programs, etc. will be helpful in setting and attaining goals.
Note: You can also go to lunch with a couple singles at a time and ask them directly what is working and what is not.
Those who fail to plan, plan to fail!”
For more information on Kris Swiatocho, go to www.KrisSwiatochoMinistries.org or www.TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries;
919.434.3611 • Swiatocho@gmail.com
Navigate Leadership Retreat
Each year we piggy-back our annual singles retreat over Labor Day weekend with our leaders retreat, Navigate. This year we had over 60 leaders and pastors from around the country gather to learn, connect and grow. We have table top discussions from experts on aa variety of topics such as single parent ministry, leadership development including team building, socials for singles, relationships, counseling, discipleship, para-ministry, social media strategies plus so much more. We also have testimonials by Pastor Jay George, Pastor Freddy Johnson and myself, Kris Swiatocho. We also have group projects, worship and prayer. This year's theme was EPIC: Empowered People Imitating Christ. For more info, go to www.NavigateRetreat.com or www.LaborDaySingles.org
Pray for a Mate™
About Pray for a Mate™...In my 25 years of ministering to single adults, I have found one major thing common to 99.9% of them—the desire to be married or married again. From conferences to retreats, articles and interviews, the subject continuously comes up.
I hear questions like:
“Do you think I am meant to be married?”
“Is there such a thing as ‘the one’?”
“Why hasn’t God brought me the man/woman of my dreams?”
As with all of these questions, I can only send them to the one source who knows the answers and that is Jesus Christ. But saying this doesn’t always communicate to an action or a direction.
Okay, so you go to the Lord but then what? Well, they would say they have gone to the Lord but what I found was they would gripe, cry and fuss at Him. Few were serious in their purpose when it came to praying. Few were serious when it came to listening and as a result, changing.
THE CHURCH AND SINGLENESS
For the last two decades, I and many of my fellow ministers to singles have seen the decline of the church’s efforts to minister to single adults. While the singles population is now over 52 percent in the United States, with most being never-marrieds, churches are not making the effort to the reach us. The focus more than ever seems to be on the family.
But what churches don’t understand is the family starts with two single adults. If the church would spend time reaching singles, helping them in their identity in Christ, in their personal growth and developing healthy friendships, as well as by offering Bible studies and counseling for marriage, then the greater success of our future marriages and families will be.
We can’t keep hiding behind youth programs and a pro-family focus and hope healthy marriages will just happen. The church needs to help single adults meet each other in a healthy way, directing them toward godly friendships and teaching them the principles of courtship and marriage preparation. Otherwise, they will find other ways to find a spouse, often outside the church and, possibly, with someone who isn’t a believer.
Although not all single adults will get married, many due to their own fears and issues, I do believe in marriage and I believe God still brings people together. With that in mind, I have been praying for a solution to bring singles ministry back into the church.
Singles ministry in general takes a lot of work. You have to build a team of leaders, offer training, meet regularly, plan, pray, and do. Because of the work involved and due to so many pastors being fearful that members might “hook-up,” churches have stopped having a singles ministry.
Also, we are still seeing more women than men in church. As a result, most singles ministries are started by women. Unfortunately, groups led solely by women only grow other women. The team has to include men. Without this pairing of the sexes, your ministry will often fail. In addition, we are seeing a lot of singles ministries focused on social events rather than on teaching the Word of God.
Another problem comes when leaders who don’t find a team to share the responsibilities with gets burned out, resulting in a failed ministry.
So, what do we do? How do we bring a singles ministry back into the church and have it be successful? And how can we do it if we are limited in finding men to help? What about resources and support?
SOLUTION: Pray for a Mate™
While spending time in the United Kingdom doing ministry, I came upon a wonderful lady who shared with me something amazing. She had gone to her pastor and asked about doing a singles ministry at her church. Again, due to past experiences of what singles ministries could become, he said no. She then prayed and went back and asked if she could have a “prayer group for those who wanted to be married.” (Remember, 99.9 percent of all singles want to be married—maybe not this minute but eventually). She didn’t say anything about singles or ministry, but she did use two key words that most churches care about: marriage and prayer. They agreed and even offered her the space to meet.
She quickly gathered her team of friends—some married and some single—and they started meeting to pray, not sure what God would do. That small group turned into a larger one and before long they were meeting each month. From the start they only allowed women to come as they had enough men. They also created a structure that appealed mainly to serious prayer warriors.
The results were amazing. They saw lives changed, individuals found healing, some developed amazing friendships and others even got married. It’s now been over year and they are up to eighty men and eighty women. And it hit me—with a few slight changes, this could work in the U.S.
I realize not all singles would want to come to church to pray for a mate. Some might even get upset if this was the only activity their church offered singles. But if a church only has this, it’s still better than nothing. This program has the potential to lead to something. It’s certainly worth trying and making the investment. And the result? Healthier people who become healthier followers of Christ.
How to get started!
1. Go to our contact page and fill out the registration form.
3. Once we receive your registration, you will be given a password to access the other pages where you will learn how Pray for a Mate™ works including the structure and the prayer themes.
Kris Swiatocho and the Singles Network Ministry that you operate. Our singles group at my local church is flourishing and I give much credit to you.