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  • 12/31/2015 1:44 PM | Anonymous
    Listening to Kari Jobe’s I Am Not Alone recently brought back many memories.  The past four years has been an incredible journey for me that make this a very poignant song for me.

    Four years ago we learned that my wife Joanne had brain cancer.  In the 21 months she fought so valiantly only to lose in the end my life was a roller coaster ride.  When the damage caused her to need special care I was literally at wits end.  It was the help of a very good Christian friend that put me on the right path.  Not only did he and his wife take me in for several months they also nursed me back to physical and mental health while bringing me back to the church.  That taught me the real meaning of being a Christian – in particular the outward focus on others.

    That’s far from the end of the story.  In those next 21 months a very good friend and a close uncle came down with the same brain cancer; all 3 died within a month of each other.  Those same 21 months saw the loss of a total of 14 friends and family including a close cousin, two uncles, a grandson, and a younger friend who was an inspirational coach.   No one can handle this kind of thing without the help of others. 

    But this story is not about me – every single Christian has their own unique story about singleness.  This is the story of what led to the Ministry to Singles. 

    When it became obvious that there were many singles out there that felt alone, even in church, it was clear that something needed to be done.  That led to working with a close single friend, Marilyn Cutter, to understand the needs and requirements of a singles group.  With the help of many we finally had our first meeting this past March.  It soon became clear that expanding to other churches was critical, as was the need to start a Bible study group focused on the needs of singles.  Social events with other singles brought a new level of fellowship, we now have a thriving Bible study group, and singles from five churches are involved.

    All in all a very rewarding year

    It has also been a personally rewarding year and one that was a surprise: the rewards of seeing others benefiting in many ways is very heartwarming.  That is truly one of the greatest rewards that God can give us.  And that brings us full circle with the song – I am not alone, we are not alone.  All singles need to know that God and other singles are out there to help.

    It is my hope that we can be good shepherds, just as my Christian friends did, and reach out to other churches and singles in the coming year.

    A very happy New Year to all of you!

    Mark

  • 02/07/2015 2:11 PM | Anonymous

    As we get closer to our singles group together for the first time it strikes me how much things have changed over the years. 

    Not just that there are more singles today, not that church attendance is falling and churches are closing. Not that society seems want things done for them instead of doing it themselves.  Not that “things” such as clothes and cars seem more important than people.  And not that life seems to move faster and faster every day.

    All this things are true, but what I miss the most about the past is that is the things that we did as a community.  I remember having a good time plus we got to know our neighbors.  Many became friends, and everyone pitched in - particularly when things got tough.  Leaders were ordinary folks just like everyone else.

    That sense of community seems hard to find today.  Fellowship is often times overlooked in the life of even Christians.  If you grew up in the church, you might associate the word “fellowship” as going to church or maybe even something your church family did by bringing a pot-luck style of lunch for all to share after a special Sunday service. 

    But fellowship is not just a church service or an event. Fellowship should be part of our ongoing life as followers of Christ.  Maybe the strongest and most pointed passage about fellowship is from Hebrews 10 when the author says that some are neglecting fellowship. 

    Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.  – Hebrews 10:24-25

    This is important for all men and women of faith, single or not.  Perhaps as Christian Singles we desire fellowship more than others.  As you read through these passages, consider your own life and attitudes towards fellowship as a Christian.

    I look forward to the Ministry to Singles becoming a reality, and in particular, our first meeting!

    For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.   – Matthew 18:20


    Mark Beasley

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Good Shepherd Community Church

Website: www.goodshepherdcc.org
Phone: (503) 663-5050
28986 SE Hailey Rd, Boring, OR 97009

Grace Community Church

Website: www.gracecc.net
Phone: (503) 492-9966
800 SE Hogan Rd, Gresham, OR 97080

Wood Village Baptist Church

Website: www.woodvillagebaptist.org
Phone: (503) 661-7686
23601 NE Arata Rd, Wood Village, OR 97060

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