A recent article pointed out some chilling statistics about our growing chasm of loneliness that’s swallowing up an alarming number of us. And the consequences are more immediate and hazardous than you might have thought.
In a blog by the Harvard Business Review, we’re reminded that research shows that “one in four Americans report having no one with whom they can discuss important matters, compared with one in ten 30 years ago.” And the average American has, “only one real friend.”
The article goes on to point out that living without strong friendships, “…diminishes cognitive performance and the immune system, increases the risk of heart disease and dementia and hastens early death. (HBR 9/18/15)
Our Facebook friends will share cat videos and status updates, but rarely will they share our burdens, be they financial, emotional, spiritual, or physical. That’s not because they’re bad friends. It’s because they’re virtual friends. They’re engaged in relationships that are defined by electronic presence, not physical presence.
This is not a blog about how terrible things are. It’s a blog about how to change our situation. And it’s a blog about Jesus’ vision for real humanity…which means people living in genuine friendships and genuine community. People who will laugh together, work together, sweat together, dream together, weep together, worship together, serve together, and pray together.
How many of those friends do you have? If you don’t like the answer, then I urge you to do something about it. Come out and join us this weekend at Seneca Creek. Stop by Connection Point and get details on our Converge groups. Arrive early enough to meet someone before the gathering starts. Strike up a conversation after the gathering. (Even introverts need a few friends.)
Jesus described what his new community would look like…
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35)
Yep. One another. Together. Laughing, working, sweating, dreaming, weeping, worship, serving and praying…together. You can’t do that on Facebook. But you can do that in Christian community.
I hope to see you then!
– Pastor Mark
P.S. REMINDER: This Sunday we are adding a third Sunday gathering and changing our start times. Join us at 8:30, 10:00, or 11:30!