ChristianMingle.com, one of the top faith-based dating sites on the Web, announced Tuesday that it added two million members to its database of Christian singles this year, bringing its total number of registered members up to five million people.
"Gone are the days when online dating was considered taboo – even in the Christian community," Ashley Reccord, Christian community manager for Spark Networks, said in a statement. Spark Networks owns and operates Christian Mingle and other online dating sites.
"One of the amazing gifts of our age is that the internet can virtually erase many of the barriers to finding new relationships with people who share your interests and values,” said Reccord.
ChristianMingle provides a digital gathering place where Christian singles can meet and begin forming relationships online before pursuing those relationships in person. As they search for their mate, members communicate with one another through email, instant messaging, chat rooms and message boards. Approximately 100,000 messages are sent through the site every day.
According to a study conducted by sociologists Michael J. Rosenfeld of Stanford University and Reuben J. Thomas of The City College of New York, in 2009 the Internet was the third most common way for heterosexual couples to meet.
“The Internet is the one social arena that is unambiguously gaining in importance over time as a place heterosexual couples meet,” the study says.
After receiving feedback from its customers, ChristianMingle realized it needed to help them grow in their faith as well as help them find a date. In August, the company officially launched Believe.com, a website that addresses a broader range of faith-related topics and is meant to help Christians “deepen their walk with the Lord as well as fellowship with other believers.”
A video on ChristianMingle's YouTube channel says, “Sometimes, we wait for God to make the next move when God is saying it’s your time to act.” That may be true but, in an article about online dating, Focus on the Family's Shana Schutte makes it very clear to Christians that they shouldn't become overstressed about finding that special someone.
“Most of all, remember that God is ultimately in control of bringing you a mate,” said Schutte in the article. “This means that you don't need to panic or become obsessed with dating online. Keep your eyes on Him and determine to trust Him with your personal life, no matter what.”