One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church - eBook
One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church - eBook  -     By: Gina Dalfonzo
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Baker Books / 2017 / ePub
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One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church - eBook

Baker Books / 2017 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 9781493409280
ISBN-13: 9781493409280

Publisher's Description

There are now more single adults than married adults in the United States, yet the evangelical church continues to focus primarily on serving couples and families with ministries geared toward their particular needs. This can lead, however unintentionally, to the marginalization of adults who are single by choice, divorce, or death, or who are simply not yet married. Families are a good thing, but so are all of God's people, and singles long to be lovingly integrated into the Body of Christ.

In One by One, Gina Dalfonzo explores common misconceptions and stereotypes about singles, including the idea that they must be single because something is wrong with them, and the subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways they are devalued, like when sermons focus overmuch on navigating marital relationships or raising children. She shows how the church of Paul, who commended those who remained single, became the church where singles are too often treated like second class Christians. Then she explores what the church is doing right, what unique services singles can offer the church, and, most importantly, what the church can do to love and support the singles in their midst.

Author Bio

Gina Dalfonzo is an associate features editor at Christianity Today, as well as the editor of Dickensblog and a columnist at Christ & Pop Culture. Her writing has been published in The Atlantic, Christianity Today, First Things, National Review, The Weekly Standard, Guideposts, Aleteia, The Stream, and OnFaith, among others. She earned her BA in English from Messiah College and her MA, also in English, from George Mason University. Dalfonzo lives in Springfield, Virginia.

Editorial Reviews

"Here's a book on singleness that won't tell you how to score a spouse nor condemn a growing generation of unmarried Christians. Instead, Gina Dalfonzo shares her own story along with many others', enriching our understanding of the stereotypes they face and the faith they live by."

—Kate Shellnutt, Christianity Today

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that 50.2% of the adults over age sixteen in this country are unmarried. Many of our churches continue to focus their outreach and programming toward families, often (unintentionally) leaving Christian singles feeling as though they're on the outside looking in. Gina Dalfonzo offers an insight-filled and gracious look at the ways in which both individual congregations and Christian subculture haven't been especially hospitable to singles. In addition, she offers readers thoughtful ways in which they can include, enfold, and honor the experiences of singles in their churches. One by One is full of practical wisdom that a congregation of any size can use to create a culture of welcome for every member of the body of Christ."

—Michelle Van Loon, author of Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith

"Without preaching or shaming, Gina Dalfonzo tells the church what we need to know: that is, the experience of the singles in our midst (or, perhaps of the singles who can't stand to be in it!). With sometimes hilarious and always warm and wise insights from her life, as well as the lives of other single people, Dalfonzo shows us ways to fully love and welcome our single brothers and sisters."

—Caryn Rivadeneira, author of Known and Loved: 52 Devotions from the Psalms

"One by One is a desperately needed book just now for churches serious about honoring the inherent dignity of all who enter their doors. In this very practical book, Gina identifies how the church underserves singles even while the larger culture leaves them looking for connection and truth. I hope it gets the wide reading it deserves."

—John Stonestreet, president, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview

"One by One is an immensely insightful encouragement to every churchgoer. The book is beautifully written and brimming with stories and hard-won wisdom. Gina Dalfonzo encourages us to not only love the singles in our midst but to also empower them, tapping into an amazing resource for the kingdom. A thoroughly enjoyable read!"

—Mary DeMuth, author of Worth Living: How God's Wild Love for You Makes You Worthy

"It's finally here. When it comes to singles in the church, this is the book the evangelical church has needed! Dalfonzo deftly makes a case for how the evangelical church has managed to make marriage an idol while simultaneously 'distorting reality, inflating expectations,' and fostering bitterness and disillusionment among the single people in our pews. She makes fair critiques while also expressing gratitude for the church. And then she graciously offers a way forward. This book is smart, persuasive, and convicting. I want to hand a copy to every church leader I know. Dalfonzo is a wise and desperately needed voice in the evangelical church today. Heed her wisdom."

—Marlena Graves, author of A Beautiful Disaster

"Intimate and excessively readable, Dalfonzo claims a spot for singles in every congregation in a voice at once both erudite and empathetic. Her pragmatic and compassionate tone, integrated with several perspectives from singles across the country, provides an integral space for acceptance and commonality. Essential reading for every member of a church congregation, One by One extends beyond the single experience and speaks to the church community at large."

—Rachel McMillan, author of A Lesson in Love and Murder

"Gina Dalfonzo has written an important, wise, nuanced, and insightful book on singleness in the church. Weaving literary examples with interviews and Scripture, Gina has something to challenge and encourage all of us, single or married, pastor or layperson. As our culture's sexual ethics continue to move away from biblical standards, we will need voices like Dalfonzo's to articulate a virtuous, flourishing vision for singleness."

—Alan Noble, PhD, editor-in-chief, Christ and Pop Culture

"Dalfonzo seeks to break down some of the stereotypes about Christian singles and change the way the church thinks about and interacts with the singles sitting beside them in the pews, because they are often made to feel awkward, ashamed, or even freakish for not being married. Singles, like married couples and families, need support, sympathy, and celebration for important life events. Church leaders often don't realize this—which is why every pastor should have a copy of One by One on his or her desk."

—Anne Morse, coauthor of My Final Word with Chuck Colson and Prisoner of Conscience: One Man's Fight for Human and Religious Rights with Frank Wolf

Product Reviews

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  1. Chris
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Probably my favorite book on singles and the church
    September 19, 2017
    Chris
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    While many books on singleness proliferate the market, this might be my favorite one. As a lifelong single, Dalfonzo understands the life singles are seeking to navigate. She knows firsthand the mixed messages and bad theology many Christians hear from well-intended married folk. In fact, the first section of her book is dedicated to these "Stigmas, Stereotypes, and Shame" (her words) many singles hear over and over again, including being seen as problems and as projects. Instead, she argues, it's time to view singles as people (shocking, huh?). In the second part of her book, she traces the trajectory of how we got into this mess, including the tricky world of dating in the Christian subculture. Lastly, in part three, she gives insight into how the church can move forward in improving this area, while also commending the things the church has done right.

    Whether you're a married pastor trying to better minister to the singles in your church or if you're one of those single people you wished your pastor better understood, I would commend this book to you as a helpful guide. Singles are people, too!
  2. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Understand and welcome singles into church
    July 12, 2017
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Today's evangelical churches are overwhelmingly family oriented. Where does that leave singles?

    Dalfonzo has written a book to help churches understand singles and create a welcoming climate for them. She reveals what the church looks and feels like to singles, sharing her own thoughts and her interviews with others. I was appalled at some of her quotes from books and preachers. No wonder singles feel awkward in a church culture that thinks singleness is a negative condition and that not being married precludes one from spiritual maturity. She also writes about the impact of the non-dating movement, the unchristian teaching about leaving a legacy, and more.

    She also looks at what singles must endure in this sex saturated society. I was again appalled to learn that eighty percent of single evangelical Christians say they have had sex. I wonder if that is a result of lack and attention and support from the church.

    This book is not a theological nor biblical exploration of singleness. While Dalfonzo does quote the passage around I Corinthians 7:8, she does not make a big deal about Paul later saying that singles can much better be concerned about the Lord's affairs. When was the last time you heard a sermon encouraging people to remain single so they could have undivided devotion to the Lord? (See I Cor. 7: 32-35) When was the last time singles were sought out in your church because of their unique gifts and abilities? Does your church look at singles as problems or opportunities?

    Dalfonzo has some good ideas for church leaders and how they can incorporate and support singles in their congregations. This would be a good book for church leaders and board members to read. It would also be good for those sitting in the pew as Dalfonzo has many ways church members can incorporate singles into their lives and support them.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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