RIDGECREST, N.C., — A single adult has to make a decision about living a life pleasing to God. The choice, while not necessarily easy, is simple. You do or you don’t.
Singles attending the Urban Singles weekend at Lifeway Ridgecrest Conference Center April 22-25 stood up and signified they chose to live lives pleasing to God.
The conference, co-sponsored by two areas of Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention — Black Church and ThreadsMedia — and by Living Single in Faith drew in a multiracial group of singles from college age to mature.
Bring your best
Jason Hayes, Lifeway’s young adult ministry specialist, was the opening speaker for Urban Singles. He reminded the group to bring their best to God.
“We know that Malachi offered the Jews a huge rebuke for bringing less than their best as sacrifices,” he said. “He told them to stop bringing God less than their best, but they didn’t. The result – 400 years of silence from God.”
Reminding them that God is never changing, but always relevant, Hayes underscored that God is always worthy of worship.
“God is not a celebrity, but He is God of gods,” he said. “We may celebrate the King of Pop and the King of Rock, but He is the King of Kings and He only is worthy of your praise.”
Angela Scruggs, a doctoral student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, led a breakout session on “Purity and Holiness.”
“Purity usually makes us think of no sex before marriage,” Scruggs said. “We know that. We have that part down. But purity is a lifestyle. It’s all encompassing, so much more than just abstinence.”
Scruggs used the example of how clothes are cleaned in some Third World countries to describe how God can cleanse people.
“To clean the garments, women will take the clothes to the river, spread them out and beat on them or stomp on them to get the dirt and stains out,” she said. “Sometimes it can feel like this when God get the sin — the dirt and stains — out of our lives. It can hurt getting it out, but it feels so good to be clean.”
Purity is reflected in lives free of gossip, anger, hatred, sexual immorality or anything that is displeasing to God.
“Purity is an inward issue,” Scruggs said. “It’s so much bigger than just avoiding sex. You can be abstinent and not be pure, but if you get the purity right, the abstinence won’t even be an issue.”
Ron Haskins, a certified life coach from Nashville, Tenn., led a breakout on “Discovering Your Vision Through Prayer.”
Dreams and visions
“Your dream is what you see yourself to be,” he said. “The vision gives you the blueprint to get you there. Your walk with God is what holds it all together. When God gives you a dream and a vision, it will come with a price. No one else can fulfill your dreams. You have to follow where God leads.”
He told conference participants, “You may choose your career, your spouse, your hobbies and many other parts of your life, but you don’t get to choose your purpose. That only comes from God. That purpose is only revealed through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Living single in faith
Joann Scaife, Baptist collegiate ministry director at Tennessee State University and Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., was the host for the event.
Scaife is the founder of Living Single in Faith, an organization that seeks to speak to single adults of all ages in the area of Christ-centered relationships and godly living.
Next year’s Living Single in Faith conference will be May 26-28, 2012, at Ridgecrest Conference Center.
by Polly House, Communications Department