Pastor Derwin Gray: Churches Often Wrongly Act as if Being Married Is 'Pinnacle of Being Christ Follower'
The pastor of one of the fastest-growing churches in America told Christians that the Church hasn't done a good job ministering to singles and often wrongly insinuates that being married is "the pinnacle of being a Christ follower."
Transformation Church's Derwin Gray, a former NFL player turned founding pastor of the multi-ethnic, multi-generational church in South Carolina, preached in a recent sermon in his "Resurrect" series titled "Time to Resurrect Your Singleness" that it is important for the church to minister to single members as much as married couples, "as God wants all of His children to live a godly life regardless of their relationship status."
"If we're truly honest, in the Church we haven't done a good job with singles," Gray says, noting that for him, "singleness was always seen as a good thing until I became a Christian."
Gray then suggests that some Christians need to change the way they view singleness, as it is often communicated in the Church that singleness is an issue that needs to be remedied as soon as possible.
The pastor says that "being married is not the pinnacle of being a Christ follower," but rather "finding your redemptive purpose in Jesus is."
This truth may be difficult for some because everyone wants to hear that God has a soulmate for them, Gray says, but ultimately, Christians cannot look to their spouse to be their savior.
Rather, "Jesus is [your savior]," the pastor says.
When dealing with singleness, Christians also tend to look at what they don't have, rather than what they do have, a dangerous habit that can rob anyone of finding joy in their current situation.
"It's not about what you don't have, it's about what do you have, because whenever you look at what you don't have, joy is going to seep out of your soul," the pastor says.
Others may be under the impression that because they have lived sinfully, they are unworthy of God's forgiveness and repeat a habit of sinful behavior.
What Christians don't realize, Gray says, is that God supplies them with "infinite forgiveness."
"The more you know that forgiveness, the more you are empowered to not do what you did to need the forgiveness," the South Carolina pastor says.
Ultimately, there are many points to focus on when asking the question: "How do we resurrect singleness?"
Most importantly, single Christians should "live out of the overflow of Jesus' love."
"If you're lonely you have all that you need in Jesus," the pastor says, pointing to Ephesians 3:17 that reads: "Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong."
Gray clarifies that the message of singleness applies to all members of the church, as "it's important for us to have a biblical, grace-filled, Jesus-view of singleness because everything in our culture is opposite of that."
The evangelical pastor ends his sermon with a prayer for all single people that reads: "Lord, bless me with the power of your call to be a living sign of your love. Make my love for others reflect Your love for me: loyal, faithful, life giving, and unconditional."