Home > Uncategorized > Myths about Young Professionals Ministry: Its just a meet market

Myths about Young Professionals Ministry: Its just a meet market

Over the past 4 years I’ve had the privilege to be involved, in various seasons, with the young professionals ministry of the Summit Church. This past week I spoke at the bi weekly gathering about what a vision for Young Professionals ministry can look like, then went on to address some of the myths out there about young professionals ministry. I partnered with Logan Dagley, our newest pastor on the small groups team, to do this part. We had help also from Jonathan Zebulske, who put together hilarious parody videos to help us make fun of these myths. The content of these next few posts comes from that message.

Myth # 1: A Young Professionals Ministry is a Meet Market.

The average age for a woman to get married in the U.S. is 27, and 28 for men. So the normative marital status for people coming out of college is single. The natural assumption, both positively and negatively, for post college co-ed church ministries is that it’s a singles thing.

That’s not this ministry. We are a ministry targeting a certain life stage, not a certain marital status. So let me say simply this: If we want this to be a ministry where we reach our city, it can’t be a singles thing. Because then we will never build momentum. Never build a network of people if they keep “graduating” when they get married. By God’s grace we have by and large avoided that to this point. Now, let me do some straight talk. I need to tell you 2 things I hold in tension & how I resolve them.

1. The Young Professionals is NOT a dating service. Which means you don’t need to come here trying to find a date, or fearing you are going to be asked on 6 of them. I had a close friend tell me recently she is not coming here without a wing man. Precisely because of this fear. Men: you must lead out in establishing a culture that just allows people to get to know one another. Without the fear of whether or not this ends in getting a number. If you are wondering that, then the answer is already no. We gather based on a collective pursuit of God’s glory in this area in this day. To teach and train you, to network you together for kingdom work, and to send you to the globe with the hope of Jesus. And this mission is too urgent to be side tracked by a dating game.

2. The Young Professionals is kind of a dating service. Here’s what I mean. I’m excited about the possibility that we can build a network here where men and women begin to love Jesus and get mobilized for his mission. If as they are doing that, they meet someone who is doing that beside them, and those two people begin a relationship, that’s great to me. I mean after college, where are you legitimately going to meet a future spouse? The bar, the blind date, or church. I rarely hear happily married people include the first two in their “how they met” story. So listen, I think it’s a good and right desire to find a spouse and I think dating is a way to do that. We have a lot of single people so YES, this is a network where that is welcomed.

Resolving the tension: I think you have to see 2 mindsets at work here. In one mindset, dating is primary and mission is secondary. In the other, mission is primary and dating is secondary.  We are going to go hard after the latter. Which means to you single people, yes you can meet people here. But if that is the only reason or the primary reason you are here, I’m asking you to either repent and change your mind, or to leave.

And I can also say, having married people be a part of this is great for single people. You need some married friends. To see what marriage looks like (good and bad). Think of it like research. But married people also need to be around single people. Because sometimes we forget that there is more to life than our spouse. And nobody likes that person. We also need to exhortation to faith that comes along with that. I’ve got about 7 single and 7 married people in my small group and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We are challenged by each other. And it makes it a little easier to hang out regularly.

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