Not too long ago, my life group leader asked me a question. “Why are there no ‘singles’ life groups at Grace?” I had to stop and think for a second, not because he asked at all an unusual question, but because it seemed like I should be asking him that question, not the other way around. It was a thought provoking question because a few months ago it was one I was asking myself. At first, I actually kind of had a bad attitude about it because it seems so easy for leaders who have been married for years to decide that we don’t need any singles life groups at Grace. However, now I agree. I’m 25 and single. At first, finding a life group seemed like it would be an impossible task because I had no idea how I would ever fit in. Now, I’m part of a group that is mostly married couples, and I couldn’t imagine being part of any other group. So whether you are single or married, or you are 19 or 45 and looking for a life group, here are some reasons to think about if you are asking, “Why are there no ‘singles’ life groups at Grace?” or even if you simply asking, “Is this the right life group for me?”
As long as you are looking for a life group that is the perfect demographic, you will always feel “othered.”
We want to find a life group where we will fit in and find community, and it is sometimes easy to assume that we will find it best with people who are in a similar place in life as we are, but the truth is that there will never be a “perfect” fit.
I could find a group of all singles in their mid-20s, but if I’m focused on fitting in, all I will see is more comparisons everywhere I go:
“I won’t fit in because they all work in healthcare and I don’t.”
“I won’t fit in because they are all in a relationship and I’m not.”
“I won’t fit in because they all go to the Extension at 11:15, and I’ve never gone to the same service time more than twice in a row.”
When I let go of demographics and the “perfect fit,” I start to see, “This person is fifteen years older than me, but we will be great friends because we have so many of the same interests” or “This person is married and has three kids, but we’re really close in age and have a lot more in common than I would have ever guessed.” This is a beautiful thing that life groups teach that prepare us so well to serve not only in the city, but around the world: that we may be different ages, have different interests, and come from different backgrounds, but we’re all human beings made in God’s image and we have a lot more in common than we have different.
Life groups are a much better place to learn from each other and do life together than to find a date.
This needs to be addressed because it’s the real elephant in the room with the whole question of “Why are there no singles groups at Grace?” If you are single and want to be married, you have the best heart and intentions behind hoping that you’ll maybe find a date at a life group. It’s tough sometimes to meet people, and finding someone at a church function beats a LOT of alternatives. However, it’s crucial to remember the real purpose of life groups. They’re for knowing it, living it, and giving it away in a small community of believers: for learning from each other, being there for each other, and serving God together. That has to be the main reason for joining a life group. If your main priority is anything else, a life group will quickly be a letdown or get messy. I’m sure that there are marriages from couples who met at life group, and I’d also not be opposed to more single guys joining the life group I attend. (Just kidding, except maybe not really…) and maybe sometimes I don’t always relate to everyone in my group all the time because I’m not married. However, it’s really valuable as a single person to be around married couples and learn from them. I’ve seen couples go through really hard things and overcome them together. I see women who show me what it looks like to be a wife who respects and supports her husband. One day, I’ll be a lot better of a mom because I’ve seen what it looks like for a mom to be patient with her toddlers who didn’t get a nap that day. I see dads stay home with sick kids, so that their wives can have a peaceful, kid-free night at life group, as well as many other acts of kindness. As I watch interactions with husbands and wives who put God at the center of their relationship, I realize the kind of relationship that I want to have one day, and I’ve learned that I deserve to not settle for anything less than these godly relationships I’ve seen modeled.
And married people, I would challenge you to not be afraid to include singles or join a group with a lot of singles because not only do you have a lot of wisdom to share, but singles have a lot of ideas, energy, and unique perspective that you can learn from too!
Diversity is beneficial because we all have different needs and the ability to meet a unique set of needs.
If you are young and single, you have needs that cannot be met by other young single people. And if you’re a mom with kids, you have needs that can’t be so easily met by other moms with kids. We all have needs, and we’re all called to meet needs. It’s a lot harder to do this if we are all the same. This is something I’ve see a lot in just a few months of being part of a life group, but one really simple example of this actually just happened between me and one of my friends from life group. I live in an apartment, so it’s impossible for me to vacuum my car where I live. I texted my friend who was more than willing to let me come over and use her driveway and shop vac. What I learned was that not only do I need help vacuuming my car because I don’t have what I need to do so, but it’s also just as impossible for moms with small children to vacuum their cars since it’s a hard task to do while keeping your toddlers from running into the street while you clean out your car. So that afternoon, we both offered what we had: time and materials, and we both ended up with clean cars!
Giving it away starts at home and in our little communities, and when we learn how to take care of each other well, it energizes us to start serving our communities together too! This is demonstrated really well in the book of Acts. This book shares the stories of believers who work together to do amazing things for God such as going on missions trips and planting churches, but a big part of ministry for these believers started by taking care of each other and meeting each other’s needs (see Acts 2).
So as you continue in the process of getting more connected at Grace and finding a life group, or if you are single and you’ve ever asked the question, “Why are there no singles groups at Grace?” hopefully this gives you something to think about!