According to Barna Research, though Americans still prioritize religion, they are spending less time in institutionalized church. And of those that do attend, a significant proportion engage in church hopping, with one in six cycling through a handful of chosen churches rather than planting roots in one.
The problem with this is Scripture says we’re to form one interconnected body. As we worship and study the Bible together in a committed faith relationship, our lives merge on a deeper level. We’re more apt to share our struggles and to reach out to those who are struggling. I believe this is, in part, how “God sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6), and how those who aren’t lonely show Christ’s love to the “orphan and widow” and all who feel marginalized and unnoticed.
The solution: Find a church you feel at home in, get involved, and determine to stay.
Our society encourages us to living independently, to reveal our Photoshopped highlights, and to maintain numerous yet shallow relationships. Driven by convenience, we often placate our need for community with quick text messages and Facebook comments and likes. But though those actions might, temporarily, appease our need for community, unless we take time to actively build relationships, America’s growing loneliness epidemic will only continue. But each day, by choosing to step outside, engage, and remain connected, we can defy this trend of disconnectedness.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, and speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of six contemporary novels and maintains a devotional blog found at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com. She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, (http://whollyloved.com) she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. Visit her online to find out more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
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