Integrating Singles Into the Life of the Church
By Nancy Franson

What does faithful living look like for a single person within the Body of Christ? In her recently published book “Singleness: Living Faithfully,” Jenilyn Swett explores the many layers and nuances underlying that question. Swett, adult ministries director at Restoration Community Church in St. Louis, offered the following in response to questions about why this topic is crucial to the Body of Christ.

What motivated you to write this book?

My life is not what I expected. While I didn’t expect to marry immediately upon graduation from college, I have wanted to be married for as long as I can remember. After the age of 25, however, I began to have questions about how to live with that unfulfilled desire.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t finding solid resources to answer my questions and disciple me in my singleness. Other singles I talked with shared similar experiences and said that their pastors and church leaders often felt ill-equipped to minister to them.

In our churches, we hear a lot of teaching about the importance of marriage, and much of it is addressed to married people. But more and more adults are remaining single for longer periods of time. We need help, guidance, and discipleship that addresses the place where we live. We need support and encouragement that doesn’t treat singleness as a problem to be solved or viewed as a waiting period.

Who do you think would benefit from this devotional?

This book speaks to the person who is single and doesn’t see marriage in the immediate future. It also acknowledges a wide variety of experiences of singleness within our churches, including that of those who are single again through death or divorce.

Pastors, campus ministers, or anyone involved in discipling single people could also benefit from reading this book. I address some of the particular pain points and temptations we face as singles and emphasize the important truths we need to be reminded of as we pursue faithfulness.

The book could also be useful to married people who are in close relationship with singles by providing them with a deeper understanding of their experience.

What impact do you hope this book will have?

There are often blind spots within the church where ministries default to serve married people. In paying attention to single people within our midst and affirming their value and importance, we strengthen the community we have within the Body of Christ.

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