Unmarried & Unhindered in Ministry (Part 3)

For my final post in this series, I wanted to speak directly to those that are working hard in ministry and are single. Just had a few things to encourage and challenge you with:

  • God knows where you are. He hasn’t forgotten you and isn’t ignoring you. I know this is basic, but it can be easy to lose sight of.
  • Don’t give up on the idea of marriage, but don’t make it your driving passion. A spouse will not complete you, if that’s what you’re hoping for you’ll be disappointed and left still searching for completion.
  • Remember, God is working behind the scenes for your good and His glory. (Romans 8:28)
  • Don’t use singleness as an excuse for laziness or apathy. As I said in my previous post, you’re just as capable and mature as any married minister.
  • Try not to take it personal when everyone tries to set you up with their unmarried cousin, church secretary or youth pastor. They aren’t trying to make you feel stupid, they do this because they really want the best for you.
  • Finally, allow your joy and passion for God not to be determined by your environment or surroundings. Let it be founded in your love for a God that cares more about you then any person ever could.

Unmarried & Unhindered in Ministry (Part 2)

One of the misconceptions of those that are unmarried and in ministry (or out of ministry for that matter) is that singleness is a cause of immaturity. Although, there may be times when this is true, it is the exception rather then the rule.

Let me challenge you with this thought: Maturity is the result of a process and not a specific event. How this relates to our conversation here is that the event of marriage is not necessarily a sign of maturity. Maturity is developed, it does not just happen.

With that said, a single person in ministry should be just as mature as one which is married. Although some of their experiences may be different, they have both had the opportunity to work through the muck and mire of life and to emerge on the other side stronger and more mature.

Unmarried & Unhindered in Ministry (Part 1)

A couple years ago I did a number of blog posts on Singleness & Ministry (here, here & here). Just wanted to add some additional thoughts over the next couple days. To start things off, though, I asked my friend Brad Leach to be a guest author on this topic. Here are his thoughts, enjoy!

How Singleness Affected my Ministry

On September 16, 2001, I launched a new church plant in Metro Detroit. I had been twenty-three for a little less than one week. And I was single.

There were moments during the next six years when being a bachelor felt like a liability. But I thank God for the opportunity to lead a church while I was still single.

Here are just four of the advantages I experienced.

  • Availability: Without the added responsibility of leading a family, I was able to pour an abundance of time and energy into leading our church.
  • Opportunity: There were many things I was free to do that are more difficult for me now that I’m married. For example, I took several mission trips, paid off my Jeep, started a graduate degree, spent my day off building friendships, and hung sports posters all over my house.
  • Growth: The loneliness I often felt forced me to confront several issues in my heart, and provided great motivation to develop greater intimacy with Jesus.
  • Patience: Waiting to meet my wife taught me one of the most valuable lessons in ministry. Patience, faithfulness, and purity always pay off.

Last week I celebrated my first wedding anniversary! I’m so happy I waited for Leah. But I’m also thankful that I didn’t have to wait on pursuing God’s ministry dream for my life.

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