In his Boundless Answers column, John Thomas advises a young man asking if he should leave a small church for a bigger pond — of single Christian women.
Thomas’ advice is right on. There’s no problem with seeking out a new church because you want to meet other singles, he says. But obviously your top priority is that you are part of a church to which you feel called and one that is teaching sound doctrine.
One too-common trend that I’ve noticed and do not respect is singles circulating through multiple churches just to scope out the opposite sex. This mode of operation keeps singles from serving in their churches and robs churches of financial support. Basically, too much “church hopping” is wholly unhealthy and actually renders useless many of the main purposes of the Body.
As Thomas points out, there are other places to meet single Christians besides church. And while church is an ideal place to meet a Christian spouse, that is NOT the primary function of the church. Nor should it be your primary consideration in choosing a healthy place of worship.
In college, a girl named Christine told me the story of how she met her husband. As a high school graduate, she had to stay in her small town to take care of her ailing mother. And as a result, she attended a very small church with no available Christian men her age. Christine began praying specifically that her husband would one day “walk in the back door of the church.” One Sunday morning, as Christine was singing in choir, she watched a tall, handsome redhead walk through that door. They were married six months later.
My experience was similar. My church is more of a family church, so single young adults are scarce. Several years ago I wondered if I should move on for this reason. But as the fifth grade Sunday school teacher, I felt called to the kids I was teaching and knew God wanted me at my church. Mere months after I made my decision to stay, my now-husband was hired as the children’s ministry coordinator. Looking back, I realize that God brought Kevin to me; and I was in just the place I needed to be.
So if you feel called to find a different church; do it. But don’t make finding a spouse your top priority. You truly can meet that person any place, any time. Even in a small pond.