Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The headline reached out and arrested my attention: "25% of Americans have no one to confide in." The story beneath the headline, on the front page of last Friday's edition of the USA Today, told of the sobering reality of disconnectedness within American life today.

The article relayed results from a similar study in 1985 which showed that 10% of Americans (at that time) felt lonely and isolated, without close friends or confidants. And now, just 20 years removed from that initial study, researchers have discovered the percentage has grown by 15%.

Why is disconnection among people growing so rapidly? According to the article, the chief culprits are suburban living, an increase in time spent at work, the prevalence of entertainment tools (TV, IPods, Computers, Internet) that allow people to "stay home and tune out."

But what if people want to plug in to something other than an electronic gadget? What if people longed for a place where connection is prized and relationship is encouraged?

If someone wanted to go to a place where "everybody knows your name," is there an option other than the local tavern?

Of all the metaphors for the covenant people of God in scripture, the metaphor of "community" has to be the most engaging to our culture today. It is community that provides connectedness, relationship and mutual support that people in our world today are dying without.

How highly is community prized in your home church? What could you do to be a catalyst for community in your home church?