Why do young single adults have some of the lowest church attendance rates? Well, as a young single adult I will tell you: our lives are crazy! I have heard single-hood described as a great, black hole until marriage; this is true because when you are a young single adult you have no roots.
Singles are in a constant state of going to school, holding three jobs, and moving to a new apart—oh! Never mind, moving out again. Because single adults lack roots, they often drift away from the church. Their excuses of being too busy and having no one in the ward they know eventually result in their nonexistent church attendance.
This becomes a habit and they forget that God—and the members of their singles ward—loves them. They do not “[r]emember the worth of souls in great in the sight of God” (Doctrine & Covenants 18: 10) and they forget their own worth in their crazy lives. As a former member of my Relief Society presidency, I can attest to the love that the leaders and members of singles wards everywhere have for these inactive singles.
Also as a former member of my Relief Society presidency, I know a lot of tips on how to help reactivate single adults and get them to remember they are loved.
1. Visit Them
This is always the best place to start because it shows an inactive young single adult that you are aware of them and took time out of your busy schedule to visit. A visit shows that you truly care for them and want them to return to church.
It is also a great opportunity for the two of you to get to know each other. Thomas S. Monson, in his talk “They Will Come,” says that “[t]hey need friends with testimonies. They need to know that we truly care for the one.”
An inactive single is more likely to return to church if they know someone there and that this someone cares for them. Whether it is visits as a presidency or home/visiting teaching, go see the inactive single.
2. Personally Invite Them
Whether it is a Relief Society’s newsletter or the program from sacrament meeting, a calendar is a great thing to give inactive singles on visits. An upcoming activity on the calendar might interest the single enough to attend it, but they won’t know about the activity unless they have a calendar.
Another good tip is to put your phone number on the calendar. This is a great way for them to contact you if they have any questions. Also, if your singles ward has a facebook page or a texting list, tell the inactive single about it so they can get regular updates about activities.
3. Involve Their Friends
Inactive LDS single adults are more likely to come to church if they know someone. But even if you visit them a couple of times, they still might not feel comfortable enough to go to church with you.
So ask around the ward. You may find someone who was best friends with the inactive single in high school. The less active single will be more responsive to an old friend’s invitations to activities and church.
4. Plan Activities They Like
Okay, so this sound sneaky and devious, but it is a great way to get an inactive single to meet other people in the ward and it gives you an idea for your next monthly activity. An inactive single is more likely to come to participate in something they care about than just any old activity.
If they are participating in church activities regularly, then they will make friends with the people of the ward and might start coming to church on Sundays. So if they love underwater basket weaving, then plan it for the next Elders Quorum monthly activity (I’m kidding about the underwater basket weaving by the way. Unless they really do like it. . . )
5. Offer Them a Ride
Definitely not at the same time. One after the other. The idea is simple, text (or tweet or facebook) the inactive single about the fun activity that night and ask them if they would like a ride to it. They will be more likely to accept the invitation to the activity if you offer a ride because that means they have someone to hang out with at the activity.
6. Accompany Them
Huzzah! Your inactive single friend has been attending activities for a month and has now made the move to attend church on Sunday *fist pump*. Just make sure they don’t end up sitting alone. Sitting alone at church is no fun and reduces the chances of them coming back to church again.
If they are alone, they will feel awkward and disappointed that their hard work of putting themselves back into church has resulted in nothing. Don’t make them feel like that. Your there friend, sit with them throughout the church block!
7. Love Them
An inactive single adult will not return to church unless they realize that all of your efforts to bring them back are not about high attendance numbers, but because you care for them and want them to return to God.
Be sincere in your desires to help reactivate singles. Don’t push them too hard or they might pull in the opposite direction. Let them know that you love them, whether it is through a birthday card or just a quick visit to say hello.
Thomas S. Monson says that “building a bridge to the heart of a person” is of great importance in bringing others into the fold. This bridge is built if you show that you love and care about them and they will soon remember that God loves them as well.