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Single Minded by Kate Wharton

August 18, 2019

Single-Minded: Being single, whole and living life to the full by Kate Wharton 

This was the first ever book I read on the topic of singleness and it opened my eyes to a whole community of people in my position. 

This book is a must-read if you feel like the odd one out in your church. Wharton speaks out against churches that deem marriage as the best way of life and offers a valid alternative of singleness. This book is for people at all stages within their singleness and I found it really encouraging and her own story very relatable (especially all the things she wishes married people wouldn’t say to her!) 

If you’ve never read a book on singleness, this is a good starting point. Not everything she talks about may relate to your situation but her positive outlook on singleness is definitely contagious.

Love at first swipe

August 07, 2019

Aukelien Van Abbema always speaks and writes with humour, honesty and positivity about singleness and dating. Her wise, practical advice has been invaluable to me over the years and although some of it may seem simple, it is in fact revolutionary and counter cultural when put into practise. This talk she gave at St Mary’s London is a great summary of her views and advice, linked to Biblical wisdom and her own experiences and knowledge as a psychologist. If you are dating, thinking about dating or had enough of dating I would definitely give it a listen! 

Single. Dating. Engaged. Married by Ben Stuart

August 01, 2019

Ben Stuart’s “Single. Dating. Engaged. Married” provides us with a completely new, positive outlook on singleness whilst being honest, funny and an inviting account of a person’s navigation of singleness and dating.  

Each section contains a case study, usually from Ben’s life and experience of dating or a Biblical example. These are both interesting (to the curious) and helpful in their relatability.  

Not only does Ben explore how to date, but first and foremost, who to date. He talks on how we should be looking for people that glorify God and that would help us to do the same. He also speaks on how we can better ourselves for our future spouse.  

But most of all, I love his founding theory that the process of dating (from singleness to marriage) is a “modern process of evaluation”: evaluating whether we want to spend the rest of our lives with this person. Perhaps controversially, Ben also suggests that the “stages” we have in dating such as “Official” or even “boyfriend or girlfriend” are just labels created to define different parts of this one evaluation.  

If all of that wasn’t enough, Ben even touches on the not-often-mentioned topic of sex. He delves into our culture’s attitude to sex and how that compares with God’s plan for us. A definite page-turner.  

I would highly recommend this book to anyone a little lost in their singleness or losing hope in the dating game… and there’s always the second half of the book if you’re already in a relationship! 

#relationshipgoals

October 08, 2018

In this series, Pastor Michael Todd breaks down the barriers that have separated us from the truth within the Bible about singleness, relationships, sex, sexuality, divorce & and approaching it all in a Godly way. Be prepared to hear things you’ve probably never heard before in your church & that might make you feel uncomfortable.

 

We highly recommend this series as it touches all the “milestones” of relationships & shines new light onto a generation that seems to value instant gratification more than deep & healthy connection.

 

Felicitas Coulibaly

Is singleness good?

May 20, 2018

Loved this talk by Andrew Bunt where he looks back through the Bible at the history of singleness and what God has to say about it. Some great Bible teaching and helpful application at the end. Challenging but really easy to listen to. Definitely a recommended listen for both single and married people!  

Loveology By John Mark Comer

April 15, 2018

This book by the dynamic John Mark Comer covers all topics from sex and marriage to relationship and gender. He offers a biblical perspective on all these topics that is refreshingly straight and conclusive. Although you may not agree on all these conclusions his explanations are clear and concise and open up these topics many which are not regularly taught on in church. His style is aimed at millenials and is an easy read despite dealing with challenging topics. Definitely a top recommendation for anyone looking for a comprehensive discussion on all these topics, particularly if read with a friend to stimulate some healthy discussion and challenge (even better wine and cake).

Despite the light hearted look of the cover, this book really packs a punch - exploring issues around singleness with brutal honesty and insight. Joy Beth Smith explores attitudes towards single people in the church and challenges teaching and thinking which can be damaging and unhelpful. She also confronts issues like dating, sexuality, masturbation and loneliness on which the church has been notably quiet. Although the cover suggests this book is aimed at women I would recommend it to anyone who is single as well as others who would like to check their theology and practises to best support and serve their single friends or church community. Joy Beth Smith's style is funny, honest and personable, making this an easy and enjoyable read. 

Single Friendly Church

This campaign launched in 2016 and aims to encourage and challenge churches to be more accessible and relevant to singles. It has some links to Christian Connections through one of the leads on this project, Joff Williams. There's some great stuff on the website for churches and they definitely raise issues that some church leaders may not have considered. Might be worth sharing this link with your church leader or if you are a leader have a read.

 

Some interesting observations... Many single people don’t label themselves – or want to be labelled – as ‘single’. It’s often seen as the modern version of ‘spinster’ – deprecating and inviting pity. This is one reason why groups lobbying on behalf of singles tend not to survive long – people don’t want to be connected with the label.

Isn't it time we changed that perception though?? A first person 'single' voice is notably absent in the content. Isn't it time single people stepped up and challenged the church and the label of 'singleness' themselves? We'd be interested to hear your thoughts...

'Singleness can suck' - Jon Brown speaks about singleness, leadership and the church

'Singleness can suck. 
I don’t know many people who would choose to be single – and our culture reinforces the message that we need to be in a romantic relationship and having sex to be fulfilled. But as a single you have a unique opportunity, a unique message and a unique gift.' 

Great to hear Jon Brown speak with clarity and honesty about these issues... an important listen for anyone involved in church leadership.  

Singleness - Talks from HTB's Focus

This year's HTB conference focus saw a series of talks from Aukelien van Abbema on singleness and dating. Abbema leads a course for singles at her church in Amsterdam and speaks with clarity and wisdom on dating and staying connected to God. All 4 talks in the series are worth a listen.

Singleness - Trent Vineyard, Nottingham

With input from four single interviewees, Trent Vineyard leader John Wright sends the strong signal that we honour singleness as a status equal to marriage.

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