Creating a Family Dynamic at Church

Article by: Bridgehaven Team

Part 4 of V on Singles Ministry in a Couple’s Culture Church

Do you remember the song “We are Family” by Sister Sledge? Here is a portion of their lyrics to refresh your memory:

We are family

Get up everybody and sing


Everyone can see we’re together

As we walk on by

And, and we fly just like birds of a feather

I won’t tell no lie

All, all of the people around us they say

Can they be that close

Just let me state for the record

We’re giving love in a family dose


We are family

(Yeah, yeah, yeah, ah)

What would it look like in our churches if there was no marital divide to separate believers?  The church would look like the song above! Loving, close, joyful, and united “just like birds of a feather”!

We have a few suggestions to create a family dynamic at your church:

Start with YOU

  • Be aware of your personal view or bias about singleness and marriage
  • Reject the lies and false beliefs that singleness is “second best”, a condition that needs fixing, that something is wrong with you, or that singleness is somehow punishment from God.
  • Help singles recognize that their life is not on hold until they marry. Encourage them to make the most of their current situation and to receive it as a gift from God.

Help your Church

  • Be aware of the culture of your church. What are the implicit or explicit messages about singleness and marriage?
  • Help your church be intentional in presenting a balanced Biblical view of singleness and marriage in your church. Each situation has its own blessings and challenges.
  • Help emphasize a broader and inclusive definition of family in your church. God’s family is not the American nuclear family.
  • Help your church recognize that one is free in Christ to marry or remain single.
  • Help singles feel welcome in your church.

Live Out Jesus’ Prayer for His Church

Remember, Jesus Himself prayed in his high priestly prayer in John 17 for His family the church to be one as He is one with His Father:

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

For additional resources:

When the Church Was a Family: Recapturing Jesus’ Vision for Authentic Christian Community by Joseph H. Hellerman

Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoffer

One By One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church by Gina Dalfonzo


Keith Clement and Laura McGee are pastoral counselors at Bridgehaven Counseling Associates, which exists to provide excellent, Christ-centered counseling to individuals, couples, and families in the Raleigh-Durham area. Please contact Keith ( or Laura ( if you would like them to speak to your church or small group on this issue.