I’ve been experiencing a spiritual perfect storm of sorts in the last couple of years—in a good way. Ten years ago, I helped plant a church and I’ve remained active there ever since. I received solid biblical training there and I love the people, but I’ve sensed a growing restlessness the past couple of years. Couple that with a very small pool of singles from which to find a wife and my restlessness has continued to grow.
As I began to think about changing churches, I heard about a church in my city that intrigued me. They have a heavy emphasis on being involved in the arts community and in forming bonds with people who generally won’t go near a church. I was involved in the arts before I became a Christian nearly 17 years ago and I remember how gun-shy I was of the church. In fact, God used the arts (Christian radio) to draw me to the faith. So the idea of being involved in such a church excited me.
I began to investigate the church that reached out to people like me and I learned that if I started going there I’d be one of the older members. Many are in their late 20s and early 30s. That didn’t thrill me, but at the same time, being around vibrant youth can be contagious. I learned that it’s a self described “messy” church—one in which people are honest about their struggles and in spurring one another on in repentance. And I learned that the pool of singles is considerably larger.
So, after prayer, consultation with an elder at the church I helped plant, and a little trepidation (can you tell I don’t like change?), I began attending the artsy church a few months ago. It’s everything I expected. Tonight I’m headed to my first small group meeting and I’m really looking forward to meeting new people and finding out more about what makes the church tick.
I bet I’m not alone. Surely some of you are in transition right now too. Singles are notorious for changing churches—often because they are hoping to find a spouse. I don’t see anything unbiblical about that. In fact, I’ve already tackled the notion that I believe the scriptures teach that singles are supposed to be active in a search for a spouse and there’s no better place to find one than in church.
If you are in transition right now, I’d love to hear from you about your journey. And I highly encourage you to not give in to the temptation to stop going to church altogether. I’ve heard all the excuses, but they don’t supersede the many biblical commands that can only be adhered to in a church—commands such as: obeying your spiritual leaders (Heb. 13:17), calling for elders when you are sick (James 5:14), tithing (Matt. 23:23), and so many others. And don’t miss the fact that Paul addressed specific churches in his epistles.
The church, as messy as it is, is God’s designated agent for advancing his kingdom here on earth. Stay involved and experience the blessing of being used by him in your local church.
Lee Warren is a forty-something-year-old single person who lives in Nebraska. He is the author of the book Single Servings: 90 Devotions to Feed Your Soul, published by Revell. Julie Ferwerda is a forty-something married person who has had a spectrum of experiences in the single’s life after divorce. She is the author of “The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love,” and has written dozens of singles articles for CBN and other publications.