How much do you know about singles in missions?
Published: February 20, 2014

This article first appeared in the spring 2014 issue of BMM’s Advance magazine.


1 Corinthians 7:25-40 is an interesting passage that may get downplayed. But God intended its message to be heard: singles that are fully surrendered to God have unique freedom of heart, mind, and body for serving the Lord.  History from the earliest times to the present has proven this to be true.

In recent history, churches have responded to the world’s social and moral decline by focusing on couples and families, and this is important.  However, God intended the body of Christ to have diverse and mutually essential parts in order to build His Church.  The Lord values the roles of all His children, whether married or single.

As missionaries, single people face challenges raising support.  They can be perceived as a lesser missions “investment” than a couple.  Some assume single women aren’t needed in church planting because they don’t preach; others believe single men are not qualified to be church planters without a wife.  However, singles’ value and effectiveness on a missionary team can be exceptional.

Interesting Facts

Number of singles serving full-time with BMM: 47

• Male—4  (9 percent)

• Female—43  (91 percent)

Single women began serving with BMM in the early 1920s, almost from our beginning. Since then, single men and women have served with us continuously in both full-time and short-term capacities.

Ministries in which BMM’s single missionaries currently serve

Men: Bible translation, church planting, medical ministries, theological education

Women: Bible translation, campus ministries, children’s and youth ministries, ESL, Jewish ministries, literacy, literature, medical ministries, MK education, Native American ministries, women’s ministries

Where they are serving

Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chad, Creative Access Nations, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Guam, India, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Venezuela, United States

Throughout BMM’s history, singles have contributed to missionary teams on at least two-thirds of our fields. 

Single missionaries—

• need less support than a couple or family.

• have very flexible schedules.

• have their time less constrained by other responsibilities.

• can focus more exclusively on mission work.

Click to read other articles about singles in the Spring 2014 Advance magazine: