A significant segment of evangelical adults around the world are single or single again. “I don’t think the evangelical church has ever advanced an intentional national or global strategy targeting this massive and growing demographic,” says Mark McLeod, Singles Advocate for the WEA’s Decade of Disciple Making Initiative.
Mark and his Singles Advocacy team visited Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malaysia, and the Philippines earlier this year, holding seminars on a biblical theology of singleness and working with national evangelical leadership to “advance a paradigm that fully values, engages and empowers single and single-again persons.”
Below is Mark’s report on the WEA Singles Advocacy Team’s Asia travels.
Report on the WEA Singles Advocacy Team’s visits to Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malaysia, and the Philippines
Prepared by Mark McLeod, WEA Singles Advocate
Our goal was to advance a paradigm that fully values, engages and empowers single and single-again evangelical persons. Our team members came from Nepal, India, Malaysia and Canada.
As a WEA Singles Initiative emerges, our initial and primary resource is focused on advancing a biblical theology of singleness, based on the book Singleness in God’s Redemptive Story by Barry Danylak (https://seeglobal.net/books-articles/).
Sri Lanka – March 20-23: The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka invited Barry to present a Marriage, Singleness and Family seminar at the Assembly of God Bible College in Colombo, followed by a second presentation to about 70 local and regional pastors. Barry and Dr. Leela Manasseh (India) will be following up to help develop and advance further resources.
Mark with college students in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Nepal – April 20-30: Pastor Sher, General Secretary of the National Churches Fellowship of Nepal, hosted our team. We shared in several seminaries in Kathmandu, spoke in local churches, and met with national leadership including the Nepal Christian Society, Micah Nepal, the Bible Society of Nepal, and others. Their vision is to advance a biblical theology-of-singleness initiative throughout the Christian community there.
Malaysia – May 1-15: Our team was welcomed by the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship of Malaysia and their Women’s Commission, which recently held a very successful online singles seminar with 130 attendees. We were also welcomed by the Council of Churches Malaysia, with an open invitation to present similar seminars through their Women’s Commission and churches. In addition, Barry and Thir Koirola (Peace and Reconciliation Network Asia) presented a three-hour seminar at the invitation of three seminaries.
Philippines – May 15-27: Barry, Thir and I met with Bishop Efraim Tendero (WEA Global Ambassador), Bishop Noel Pantoja (General Secretary, Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches), and leaders of several seminaries. Bishop Noel is making plans for the PCEC to host a two-week national Singles Philippines Initiative in May 2024. This will include seminars for seminaries and church leaders along with Sunday presentations to church congregations. Promise Keepers Philippines (which is also the PCEC Men’s Commission) is planning their annual event around this initiative and will include a focus on single men.