Gina Dalfonzo’s, One by One: Welcoming The Singles in Your Church is published by Baker Books. I selected this book for review and was sent a complimentary copy from Baker Books for my honest review. Sign up for your chance to win it at the end of this review.
Singleness, in church, is a wide open opportunity for the church to mend a great divide between those who feel included and those who show up to church for Advent, and don’t feel a part of the family.
“What happens when the church – consciously or unconsciously- elevates married people over single people” (Dalfonzo, 37)?
One by One shines a light from the other side, where Gina points out the language our church leaders use without taking into account how it hurts the singles in our church. I was a single in church, at one point, however I was a single mom. That is far different than a single who would love to have a family and does not.
“…imagine that one reason you don’t have what you want is that you’ve carefully followed the teaching of the people who are now blaming you” (Dalfonzo, 50).
One by One offers constructive criticism to the church on how we approach singleness. It lends a hand to those of us who are not single and leads us to a place of camaraderie and unity. Dalfonzo explains, “Christian community, as found in a healthy church, encourages not only the growth of Christian character within each of us but also the growth of Christian love between us” (Dalfonzo, 193-194).
Our lives are best lived out when we serve one another. I’m always looking for new ways to serve. This book is a great place to start. I didn’t realize how quiet some singles are about their situations. Gina’s book is an open call. There are plenty of singles among us; my sister is one. I wonder how much of this book she can relate to. I wonder how many times she’s felt out of place. One by One teaches me to be more conscious of my actions and my welcome.
I’ve already bullet pointed one place where I lack welcoming singles – dinner. My husband and I unconsciously only invite families to our home for dinner. We’re rarely around singles if they are not family. I appreciate this book. Among the sea of voices feeling hindered in our church, the single voice is not one that comes to the forefront of my mind or heart. That changes immediately. Many thanks to Gina and her book for providing the landing ground for me with One by One.
I highly recommend this book no matter where you find yourself navigating church. There is much to learn from everyone that makes up the complete body of Christ. After you read it, pass it to a friend. They will thank you for it.
From the Baker Books website:
Gina Dalfonzo is the editor of BreakPoint.org (website of The Colson Center), as well as an occasional writer for BreakPoint Radio. She is also editor of Dickensblog and a columnist at Christ & Pop Culture. Her writing has been published in The Atlantic, Christianity Today, First Things, National Review, The Weekly Standard, Guideposts, Aleteia, The Stream, and OnFaith, among others. She earned her BA in English from Messiah College and her MA, also in English, from George Mason University. Dalfonzo lives in Springfield, Virginia.
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Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.
Cover photo credit: Samantha Sophia