Loneliness is a real thing. A recent study on loneliness surveyed
over 20,000 Americans. The results?
One out of four people rarely feels or never feels understood by
others, nearly a quarter of Americans.
Two out of five Americans indicate they feel as though they don't
have any meaningful relationships and that they feel isolated.
Only half of Americans feel like they have any significant
interactions with others.
It's interesting that this increase in loneliness occurs at a time
in our history when church attendance is declining and at the
lowest rate experienced in years. While there may not be a
one to one correspondence between lower church attendance and
loneliness, I believe it does speak to the fact that, that we need
places to have and experience community.
Church ought to be the best place to experience community, but so
often we struggle with developing meaningful
We like to blame social media for the decline in meaningful
relationships and believe that somehow social media has made us,
well, less social. However, the one factor that determined whether
or not people felt lonely was whether they had meaningful, face to
face relationships in real life. Social media can either
enhance those relationships or in an unhealthy way, can replace
So how do we start getting a more connected with one another? By
taking stock of how we are investing our time and resources. The
fact is, sometimes we're so busy that we don't have time for
After Amy and I moved into our house, it took nearly a year and a
half for us to connect with some of our neighbors. Once we invited
them for lunch, we found that our kids were in the same grade, at
the same school and we had an amazing time
Then, we found out that they were moving in two months. Sadly, we
and the pace of life to get in the way of being relationally
For many of us, the summer months are a time of year with a lighter
schedule and with not as much going on. I would encourage you to
take the opportunity do a bit of an audit of your calendar. Look at
how you are spending your time and think what adjustments do you
need to make as you plan your fall schedules.
you are a full-time student, think about building your class
schedule to make sure you have time for relationship and community
If you are a parent, think about how much time are you investing in
your kids' extracurricular activities? Do you need to scale back
and make space for real, life-giving community with
How about work? Are there adjustments you need to make to your work
schedule to achieve a better work-life balance?
And, if you're retired, you may want to look toward the fall and
consider how to spend more time with your grown children or even
with your grandkids?
Building community takes an investment of time. We must decide to
invest time with people if we want to build relationships. When we
do that, we'll see
springing up in these dedicated spaces.
Decide now to make room for relationships in the other 167 hours
when you're not in church.
About the Podcast
Welcome to the weekly audio podcast for Tabernacle Church of Norfolk in Norfolk, VA. Our mission is to be a church of people helping people become fully devoted followers of Christ. Visit us at www.tabchurch.org