In the UK, the church landscape is largely characterised by small churches that have little regular contact with other Christian communities, so people just aren’t getting the opportunities to meet potential partners.
Added to that, many single Christians have given up on church altogether as they feel alienated from it.
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Clerical marriage is the practice of allowing clergy (those who have already been ordained) to marry.
It is a practice that must not to be confused with that of allowing married persons to become clergy.
The professional literature supports this call to maintain a distinction between relationships of mutuality and those of service as a pastor. But there’s a math problem—there isn’t enough time left over after serving the church to have healthy friendships. I suppose I could have pulled back from the church and tried to meet more people through the PTA, the Little League, a political party or the volunteer fire department.
I could even have convinced myself that this is part of my local mission as a Christian.
No one in the church, including Jack, can remember all that he has done for the congregation over the years—he’s exactly what the Reformers had in mind when writing about the priesthood of all believers.
Jack stood beside me in more than one foxhole when the leadership of the church was introducing a change that caused conflict within the congregation.Around 45% of single adults have tried dating sites, and it’s growing all the time.It’s not limited to younger people – those over the age of 55 are increasingly going online to meet people, while those aged 16-24 favour dating apps (on their phones). So it’s no surprise that many Christians join dating websites in the hope of finding love.He was hurt that I hadn’t included him in my discernment process—and livid that I would “so easily” abandon the relationship we had developed over the last ten years because “friends don’t treat each other like that.” He is right about friends, but I was not his friend. For over 30 years I’ve struggled with the question of befriending parishioners.I realize that I’m supposed to maintain healthy friendships outside of the church, and I’ve taught this for years in seminary classes.The chances are, as a church leader, you’ve married couples who met online – even if you weren’t aware of it.