About Dan Houk I experienced the pain of divorce after my twenty-five-year marriage failed. My healing and restoration journey led me to a new marriage to Teresa and a new ministry that we launched together. Together, Teresa and I have nine children, eleven grandchildren, and lots and lots of excitement. I have been in full-time ministry for over thirteen years and served as the single adults' pastor in one of the largest singles ministries in the United States. I also led our marriage and family ministry, specializing in parents of teenagers and blended families. Our singles ministry focused on helping people deepen their relationship with God and develop healthy and fulfilling relationships in their lives.
Our singles ministry had three main categories—those never-married, divorced, or widowed. Those who went through DivorceCare® would heal from the divorce, but if they got into new relationships, they often had the same old dynamics that led to the divorce. Widows and widowers and those who had never married seem to have the same experiences. So, we wrote a curriculum for classes on the development of healthy relationships.
Over time, we taught thousands of single adults these principles and saw them experience greater relational satisfaction with friends, family, and dating lives. While leading the singles ministry, we saw over a hundred healthy and happy marriages with almost no divorces. People were intentional with their relationships.
I have witnessed some fantastic endings to their stories:
Marriages that were on the brink of divorce recover and thrive
Single moms or dads find happiness in a blended family
Never-marrieds finally find their one true love and get married late in life
Singles find peace and contentment in their singleness
People happier and more confident people
I hope to see singles grow and thrive through Intentional Relationships.
About Kris Swiatocho I have been in ministry as a consultant, teacher, and speaker in large and small churches for over twenty-five years. I have focused on helping people build healthy relationships as well as equipping leaders. One area of special focus has been to help churches start and grow their singles ministries.
People often ask how it all started. In my twenties I struggled, like a lot of young adults, with my relationship with God. I was saved at nineteen, but I had fallen away. It was mostly due to the church I was in, but also to a lack of healthy Christian friendships. My parents prayed I would find a better, healthier church and/or ministry of other young adults I could get involved in. They knew if I did get involved, it could change my life and put me back on the right track spiritually.
At twenty-six, I heard about a young adult ministry called SOLO (Singles Offering Life to Others) in Raleigh, NC. I attended, but it took me a few months before I really got involved, partly due to my own sin and struggles. Still, I would see firsthand the needs of other singles. They were dealing with past hurt, rejection, loneliness, insecurity, boundaries, and a lack of purpose. I understood because I was in the same place.
As God began healing and helping me in my life, I knew I needed to help others. I knew God was real, and He loved single adults. He had a plan for our lives. At that point, I began writing and teaching.
A few years later, after some additional training and experience in ministry, God called me into full-time service. I began with Campus Crusade for Christ as an affiliate staff member and later transitioned into taking over one of their ministries, The Singles Network. Their vision was to network single adults throughout the city of Raleigh, NC; provide a monthly gathering for safe connections; and offer leadership training. Twenty years later, The Singles Network Ministries has grown way beyond the city of Raleigh and has helped start or grow hundreds of ministries around the world.
My prayer is that this curriculum, Intentional Relationships™—the sum of many, many years of training, teaching, researching, and applying—will help you in all of your relationships, including family, friends, work, church, and romance as you hope to one day be married (as I do). And if you end up not getting married, you will still get healthier so all your relationships grow.