I received a copy of One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church by Gina Dalfonzo.
Gina Dalfonzo approaches a highly important topic in today’s culture in her new book One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church. As a single adult, Dalfonzo has spent numerous years observing and experiencing the church’s approach to its single members. As a young adult single, I could relate to most of what she said. Dalfonzo tackles her topic from numerous angles, ranging from sharing singles’ feelings of being left out of a generally family oriented culture to suggesting how the church might incorporate singles into ministry.
At first I disliked the way she shared so many paragraphs of examples taken from her surveys of singles. I didn’t want to read a bunch of seemingly unconnected, brief notes from numerous people. It also didn’t seem like they were incorporated in the expected manner (an introduction to the person and the quote), but after a while I grew to appreciate the thoughts of so many singles. I found they didn’t necessitate high credentials to represent the plight of everyday people found in every church. It kept it on a realistic level, allowing me to continue to find myself amongst those singles.
Overall, the points made stayed spot on. Dalfonzo captured the negative feelings a lot of singles have felt as an unintentional effect of how some people approach them (even with good intentions) and how the church steers their belonging in groups and ministry. It brought to light a lot of disappointment and how people can unintentionally compound the pain of searching for a mate. Hopefully it helps people see how to better approach how they “help” singles in their quest for a mate and how they understand their unique set of difficulties. For example, Dalfonzo points out how many married folks may quickly think to themselves that a single doesn’t know the true meaning of busyness since they don’t have kids, etc; however, as Dalfonzo points out, married people might forget that a single person still has a household with an equal amount of chores that they must do alone since they don’t have a mate to assist with the work. Most importantly, she shares that people tend to forget that finding a mate isn’t as simple as believing in God and creating an online dating profile.
Dalfonzo highlights the plight of the often overlooked singles in the church, but she also points out positive ways the church has viewed singles. She goes further to suggest ways to deepen their involvement in the church, thus keeping them strong in their faith as they wait for a mate and as they serve in the church. As she points out, a single person can balance out perspectives and have a lot to offer the church in ministry.
I enjoyed this book, and it gave me hope as a single person seeking deeper involvement and community in church. I could see this benefitting anyone in the church as it shares an understanding of the experience of the single person and how the singles and married folks can contribute to a community incorporating singles.