If you go on the Grace Redeemer website, you will find information about a host of groups: Grace Kids, New Life, Crossroads, Women’s Ministry, Men’s Ministry, Growth Groups, Life Groups … the list goes on and on. It’s wonderful to see the many ways that people can connect, grow in faith, find fellowship, be discipled, and serve. But there’s one group you won’t find anywhere on the web site: SOLAS.
What on earth is that you’re probably wondering (or maybe not; maybe you’ve already moved on to the next email in your inbox)? I’ve never heard of that group; what is it and who’s in it? SOLAS is the name we settled on for the single adults at GRC. It means “Sharing Our Lives As Singles”. Honestly, we’ve only met once as a group, and we set up a WhatsApp group chat for the group. By my count there are about thirty of us, and that number continues to grow as more people come to GRC.
Some of this you may know, and some of it might surprise you. There are far more single women than single men at GRC. We range in age from early 20’s to the 60’s. Some of us have children and even grandchildren. Some of us have never been married, some of us have been. Some of us desire to be married; others of us do not. One of us is on staff at GRC; two of us serve on the Session; one serves on the Diaconate. Many of us serve in various ways at GRC. Basically, there are only two things we all have in common: we are all believers, and we are all single.
From time to time, I send information to the SOLAS about a good book, or good articles, or videos that I think will be of particular interest and encouragement to us. But as I was about to do that again, I thought, why am I not telling the rest of the congregation about us? Why am I not giving them information, something to chew on, something to enlighten them? Instead of letting us fly under the radar why don’t I shine the spotlight on us? So that’s what I’m doing.
One way I can do that is to point you to an excellent article titled “7 Dos and Don’ts of Discipling Singles”. It is really well written, and I won’t take the time here to summarize it. But I urge you to read it. Let me give you this little tidbit to whet your appetite; the article opens with the following quote from a single Christian: “The assumptions are really what kill. It’s almost always assumed singles are either dying of loneliness or burning with lust.” The article also explains how well-intentioned efforts to minister to singles can sometimes hurt more than help. Really, the article says much of what I would like to say but says it much better than I could. Please, please understand that this Voice of Grace is not intended to criticize, but rather to enlighten and encourage.
Dear married brothers and sisters, consider this: your children will at some point in their lives be single adults. How would you want them to be viewed, cared for, discipled, enjoyed, and enveloped into the church? I pray that all of us, whether married or single, whether young or old, will love and care for all our brothers and sisters in the faith. Soli Deo Gloria! To God alone be the glory!
Steve Hoogerhyde is a Ruling Elder at GRC. In addition to his many roles, he coordinates the adult Sunday school program.