Project Documents

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Johnny Ramirez-Johnson

Second Advisor

Moses Taiwo

Third Advisor

Alfonso Valenzuela

Abstract

Problem

The purpose of this study was to discover, develop, evaluate, and implement a supportive singles’ ministry at the Mt. Rubidoux Seventh-day Adventist church by way of planned activities and educative programs designed to serve the needs of singles in that congregation. The study was designed to determine the impact the singles’ ministry has on the church and how to shape the ministry in the future. Although society has viewed singles in different ways, depending on time and place, in traditional societies, women and men who did not marry were viewed as imperfect and lacking. Singles battle with strong expectations from family that they will marry and have children. Painfully, they find by personal experience that in addition, the church is also geared more toward the needs of married people and children than to the needs of singles. The growing tendency of this phenomenon in the family and in the church, is the major reason for this research seeking to serve the felt needs of singles in church.

Method

The focus of this research was on single persons of both genders aged 30 and above. For this project, I used qualitative research, employing the use of questionnaires. I designed a supportive singles’ ministry at the Mt. Rubidoux Seventh-day Adventist church by way of seminars, which included movies, speakers, and discussions at potluck functions; and focus group discussions. These planned activities and educative programs were designed to serve the needs of singles in that particular congregation.

Results

The study findings determined that the greatest challenge singles face is not loneliness, stigmatization of their status, or pressure to marry, although all of these were evident. The greatest challenge is rather the contradictions between the Bible value of singles and the church’s negative perception of singles, as partly evidenced by exclusive language used in sermons, announcements, bulletins, social events, Bible study groups, etc.

Conclusions

While frantically searching for a ministry suited to their peculiar needs and expectations, singles are bracing the challenges of life and the limitations of the church to enhance their spirituality. Singles are searching for a ministry for singles that includes intentional activities for singles that are enjoyable, fulfilling, and spiritual. They want the church to use their talents and help to develop their potential. So that singles do not become lost in the crowd, they need a ministry to help them stay involved. There is an urgent need to create a church culture or environment that values singlehood. Local churches need to work at creating a welcoming environment for singles in which they can explore their full potential in Christ.

Subject Area

Church work with single people--California--Seventh-day Adventists; Mt. Rubidoux Seventh-day Adventist Church (Riverside, Calif.); Single people--California--Religious life

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