Recently, we had the privilege of having an in-depth conversation with the United Pentecostal Church International’s National Singles Director, Debbie Saiz.
Sister Saiz shared some eye-opening statistics regarding the state of singles in America, while also offering helpful suggestions on how the Apostolic community can reach out to singles in need of fellowship. Sister Saiz’s goal is to enhance, reinforce and continue to grow the opportunities for Apostolic singles, and she offers helpful suggestions on how the Apostolic community can do just that.
“We’re All In This Together”
All too often, singles can be an afterthought in the church community. While families are essential to the heart of the church, they are not the only groups that need to be ministered to. In fact, statistics tell us they may even be a minority in your church.
According to Sister Saiz, singles now make up over half of the population in the United States. As of August 2014, over 50 percent of the American population is now single. As such, we currently have 124.6 million Americans that are single. As of 2014, this was the first time singles made up a majority of the population for the first time since the government began recording this statistic in 1976.
With statistics like these, ministering to singles is not only an important area for ministry, it is an essential one. Sister Saiz emphasized that “we are all in this together”, suggesting that the church community and singles ministries can rally around singles to offer the fellowship that they need. As such, Sister Saiz stated that the goal of UPCI in 2015 is to both increase the number of singles ministries for Apostolics while also increasing the amount of singles events.
Singles Need Fellowship
Citing the rising statistics of singles, Sister Saiz believes that the time to build effective singles ministries is now. “The sky is the limit”, said Sister Saiz, while continuing on to note that organizations like UPCI and ASN can work together to change the lives of singles for the better.
When asked what the primary need was for singles today, Sister Saiz did not hesitate to offer her response, stating that fellowship is what our singles need today. “Singles are hungry for fellowship”, says Sister Saiz. “Everyone wants to find a mate, but more than that, they crave fellowship.” It should come as little surprise, then, that singles events continue to grow. This growth in event attendance along with the rapid rise of singles is why, Sister Saiz argues, singles ministry is “needed more than ever.”
Educating on the Importance of the Singles Ministry Is Critical
When asked how ASN could best support the goal of UPCI, Sister Saiz suggested that continuing to educate on the value of singles ministry was the best support tool.
The way to get the word out is through singles leaders, and she cited social media a great way that we can help get the word out. Moreover, educating leaders and pastors is critical as well. Ignoring singles in the ministry can create an isolating experience for singles that come from all walks of life, whether they are widowed, single parents or continuing to wait for their mate.
If more leaders are aware of the eye-opening singles statistics, it will increase the awareness that there is a true need for this ministry. If the number one goal of singles ministry is to plug singles into fellowship with each other, educating church leaders cannot be too far behind. The more our leaders are aware of the need for this ministry, the more likely it will be that singles ministries and single people will receive the essential fellowship and support they need.
What’s Next for UPCI and Singles?
Debbie Saiz is excited about some of the exciting opportunities on the horizon for UPCI singles. A singles e-book is in the works that will offer helpful advice for Apostolic singles.
Beyond that, Sister Saiz invites any Apostolic singles that are looking for helpful advice and fellowship to check out the UPCI singles website and Facebook page, as these resources will both offer inspirational advice and notify you of upcoming singles events. On their website, be sure to subscribe to the e-newsletter to stay current with all of the latest happenings.
We thank Sister Saiz for taking the time to talk with us, and we look forward to working with her and UPCI to continue to build the singles ministry with her framework in mind: “we’re all in this together.”