Back to Single Pastors Discussions Dear Single Pastor, Welcome to my world, and the world of thousands of other men and women who are trying to serve God, church and family while still holding out hope for romance!
Dating etiquette for the Single Pastor. Those days are long over— like, say, years over. In my denomination, pastors are advised to keep their amorous eyes way out of the congregation and their mitts off their parishioners. People come to church seeking spiritual community, not to be romantically pursued by the minister of that community.
Does anyone want hundreds of pairs of eyes on their relationship? What if the whole thing goes sour? Again, those days are over. If a fabulous, dateable lady shows up at your church and you want to date her and vice versa, have the conversation about her or your leaving the church pronto.
Therefore, there should be no encouragement of introductions to eligible single family members or friends to the single minister. We must keep our dating foibles private. I live in a parsonage and have a neighbor parishioner who is a big, jovial uncle type with whom I am very close. We all want you to be happy. The fact is, it benefits the entire congregation when a minister is happy and well-matched. My predecessor in this congregation has an amazing wife who was every bit a partner in his long pastorate and much beloved by everyone.
I would dearly love to have a wife who could provide that same kind of presence and support me in the same ways. If our people want to help us find a great hubby or wife, more power to them. Make time to nurture your social life. Single parents in ministry can very easily get into a rut where their entire circle of relationships is church or children. There is nothing illegal or immoral about putting a profile on Match.
Design your profile knowing that it may be seen by those who know you in ministry and hold your head high. If it could happen for them, it might happen for me. His minister has no idea why, but I have a good inkling. What church are you with? We are ministers, in the business of officiating at and solemnizing marriages. I regret the times that I have dated folks who were separated and not yet divorced; I have come to the conclusion that to do so lacked integrity and made me a hypocrite in terms of my religious commitment to the sanctity of the marriage covenant.
In this day and age when legal divorce can take a long time and many adults choose to enter into adulterous relationships and think nothing of flirting and giving the impression that they are truly unattached when they are quite attached, we have to draw careful boundaries for ourselves.
So, Minister, I hope this list is helpful to you and answers some of the questions you may have about dating. I wish you all the best in your adventures and remember: They are the ones who know and love you and will help you return to equilibrium after the vicissitudes of the dating scene do a number on your heart and soul.