Recognizing and understanding trends is important in any ministry, and these observations about the following trends deserve to be mentioned:
A. Times change….Single Adult Ministry is always evolving.
B. Trends may influence potential ministry needs.
C. Trends may determine potential ministry direction.
D. Trends may vary by area of the country due to cultural differences, ministry styles, and development of the ministry.
There are many leadership trends in the country affecting single adult ministry today. Among them are….
A. Credibility issues of leaders - Single adults want leaders who are credible, knowledgeable, and experienced when possible; or at least willing to learn.
B. Crucial need to cast vision – This is a needed element for single adults, leaders in the single adult ministry, and church leaders/pastors.
C. Move from official leadership to gifted leadership – Many churches are using gifted and/or passionate people from the inside of the church instead of hiring a credentialed person from the outside.
D. Larger churches are seeing the need of SAM again -This may be due to the numbers of single adults in their congregations, some of whom are vocal about their needs.
E. Development of leadership training in SAM groups – Leaders are seeing and meeting the need of training others to lead specific areas of the ministry. More priority is being given to training than in the past.
F. Still a void of men in leadership in single adult ministries – Men are slower to attend and commit to a ministry group. Some think they are admitting a need by coming (and they are), and many men are reluctant to admit needs.
G. Eliminating paid Single Adult Pastors positions (or changing their ministry portfolio) and going with a volunteer - led SAM. This is mostly due to financial reasons, but also the unspoken, understood “hierarchy” of ministry focus: children, youth, music/worship, married, etc.
H. Few churches looking to hire a Singles Pastor. There are less churches in the U.S. of any denomination that have a “dedicated, hands on” person to oversee single adult ministry. There are more who oversee an aspect of single adult ministry (small group, divorce recovery, single parent group), but their title doesn’t reflect it.