For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another (Rom. 12:4–5).
Paul’s use of body imagery to describe the church is both helpful and – at times – humorous. In 1 Corinthians, he wonders about what would happen if the whole body were an eye. Have you ever stopped to picture that? Or to picture a foot saying “That hand is so elegant and functional. Lil’ ol’ me isn’t needed here”? His point is made clearly: we need every part of the body to show up and function well (1 Cor. 12:14-19).
As a single woman on the verge of 40, there can be times when the church body starts to feel like one giant eye made up of families with kids. And much like that foot, I have many single friends who struggle to feel like there is a place, a desire, a need for them to be part of the church body. Yet Paul tells us that in Christ, we are all, in fact, “members of one another.” When we take membership vows in the church, we make promises to help one another grow and pursue faithfulness. This is a commitment we make regardless of marital status, stage of life, vocational pursuits, or any other aspect of difference or commonality we may have.
So how can the hand and the foot, the ear and the eye, the lungs and the kneecap, grow in relationship and more fully enjoy being part of the body together? This certainly comes through worshiping, studying God’s Word, and serving together within your church community. But let me share a few other ways that members of my church body have helped to assure me of my belonging to the body and to affirm our interdependence on one another:
Four Practical Ways to Engage Singles in the Body of Christ
Seek to include and befriend.
In the midst of all of our busy lives, it can be easy to overlook those whose lives and routines are unlike our own. But consider how you can include single people even in the midst of what your life already entails. Invite someone to join you in the pew or for lunch after church. I’ve loved being included in chaotic weeknight dinners, family birthday celebrations and movie nights, and joining in the cheering section at a kiddo’s soccer game. If it crosses your mind to extend an invitation, don’t talk yourself out of it – do it! Pursuit and companionship are great gifts in what can be a solitary season….