Party of One people are everywhere. When I took the time to look outside of my self-centered world, I found many of them in my own church. Some were married, but attended church alone. Some were widowed, like me, and others were divorced. Some had never been married. I admit I didn’t have a clue about the status of others.
The common denominator for us was that at times we all felt invisible in the midst of all those families.
For years, before my late husband was saved, I sat in a pew alone. I was married and I had children and grandchildren, yet in church I was a party of one. While I was getting to know the children of my friends and joining in prayers for them, I could count on one hand those who could even name my three.
When the Director of Women’s Ministries invited me to speak at a monthly meeting, I decided to “introduce” our church’s party of one-ers to the rest of the ladies. I created a questionnaire asking the party of one ladies to complete prior to the event. The questions included: What is your marital status? What does your husband do for a living? Do you have children? If so, what are their names and ages?
I added space for them to list their pets and pet peeves; their hobbies and occupation; the most exciting thing they’d ever done and the most dangerous. You won’t believe some of the answers I got!
I also chose ladies from this group to open and close in prayer, to give a devotional, and to lead worship. As keynote speaker, I included some humor by using the questionnaires to have the audience guess who the author was. Through the use of humor we were reminded of the importance of ALL people– not just those who lead lives like ours.
I also asked my “guests of honor” to bring in photos of their families and examples of their hobbies and crafts. We had a long show-and-tell table in the hall and guests were encouraged to get to know these sisters in the Lord on a more personal basis. Watching the women hold up pictures of their husbands and families to introduce them to the ladies confirmed to me that this idea had been divinely inspired.
How about you? Do you know anything about the people who sit in the pews around you? Do you care about them? What else can your church do to make these party of one-ers feel more part of the family of God?