I am back from New Zealand now and grateful to God for the blessing of traveling there and back in safety.
I returned in time to prep for one of my best friend's weddings this weekend. Next weekend is another wedding for good friends. I have the pleasure of serving in small roles for both of them, and I am eager to do so because I rejoice with all of them. These four friends met each other in our church. As singles, they served in a variety of ways, including leading caregroups and discipleship groups, participating in short-term outreach teams, serving in children's ministry, and numerous other ways. They were fruitful in their single years, which lays a good foundation for continued fruitfulness in their married years. Whether married or single, their concern has been that God be glorified and His church built up.
I know there is much discussion in Christian circles about the large number of Christian single adults in their thirties, forties, and beyond. It is easy to look at the numbers and despair of God ever working in those odds--but He does! He is faithful in so many ways, and these weddings are just small evidences of His gracious answers to the prayers of His people.
In a recent meeting, the singles pastors of my church told us that our singles ministry was one of the fastest growing segments of the church (by that, they mean the number of new church members, not just attendees at singles events). That would be consistent with the culture around us--the D.C. area has a high percentage of single professionals and our outreach is reflecting that. But even as we single adults are exhorted to sow our time, talent, and treasure back into the church and not sow to self-centeredness, instant gratification, and careerism, we are seeing that there is no conflict between gifted as singles for the benefit of Christ and His church and the future blessing of marriage. Some would say that to view the single season as a gift would be to say that marriage is automatically excluded or minimized. But our church's calendar would deny that claim. I was recently in the office of one of my pastors and he had a calendar showing this year's wedding schedule. There were few spare weekends. Praise the Lord!
So as I watch my good friends walk down the aisle in these coming days, I will rejoice knowing that God heard our prayers for their future mates and He answered them so clearly and wonderfully. May our singles ministry continue to grow in both numbers and fruitfulness--and may the weddings increase, as well! Both are for the glory of God.