Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Finding Our Place at the Table

on August 11, 2015

As we were celebrating communion in church recently, I pondered the great communion table in heaven. We believers will someday join together at the eternal banquet table. It will be a great party as we step into the presence of love. The celebration of communion reminds us of our connection as family while here on earth.

Communion is an opportunity to remember that as believers we all belong at the table of the Lord. As singles, that fact doesn’t always seem real because often the church doesn’t know how to minister to our specific needs. We feel overlooked and left out. In church events, it sometimes feels as if single people are figuratively relegated to the children’s table. Remember those days at family dinners when our singleness created logistical seating problems?

I don’t believe the church intentionally ignores singles. The majority of the church is married with kids and that’s what the church knows best. The growing number of singles in churches is a new trend and many churches just aren’t there yet. My church had a Sunday school community for singles for years, but it recently ended. When asked why, the church responded that since the majority of the population is not single, it wasn’t the best use of church resources anymore. Like it or not, this is our reality.

What’s a single in the church supposed to do? Grab your friends and march with signs demanding equal time? Have a pity party?

We’re allowed to be frustrated, hurt or sad, but that won’t solve anything. We’re still part of the body of Christ. God’s already placed a seating card with our name on it; we just need to find our place.

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I’m an introvert. It takes me longer to fit into a new group. But I felt welcomed in the church singles ministry. Over the years, I’ve found ways to feel more included in groups, but it took effort on my part. I volunteered and joined ones that interested me. I reached out to different people without expecting everyone to understand my single life.

One of the best things I did was teaching for the Wednesday evening children’s program. Those nights were chaotic and fun. I learned as much from my girls as they did from me. They didn’t care about my marital status. I met parents and fellow teachers and came away with new friendships.

I learned ministry doesn’t have to be structured in order to be effective. One mom always stopped to talk with me. We shared the desire to see her daughter grow in Christ, and that was a jumping off point for sharing other aspects of our life. She prayed for me. Her simple interactions one night a week helped me walk through a tough time in my life. It’s in those situations that ministry happens.

It’s not easy, but I think it’s up to us. We shouldn’t wait for the church to come to us singles; we need to create our own opportunities.

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

 

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