Seeing Loneliness as an Opportunity

Loneliness has been in the news a lot in recent weeks. Last month, I wrote about the March cover issue of Psychology Today: The Loneliness Cure. [See: Loneliness: The Silent Killer in the Church Pew]. Now Cigna Health has released their own report about loneliness. Of 20,000 adults surveyed, almost 50 percent said they feel alone or left out.

In Cigna’s survey, a person could score from 20 to 80, and anyone scoring higher than 43 were considered lonely. And the higher the number, the lonelier they were. So which generation is the loneliest?

Surprised? We think younger adults are more connected to each other thanks to Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and the ubiquitous text messaging, but connections do not equal meaningful relationships.

We’re lonely people.

And that is an opportunity for the church.

  1. The church is a community, and we need to constantly reach out to those around us and bring them into our community experience. The very ones you invite could likely be the ones who feel lonely and disconnected.
  2. Don’t think of increasing numbers or reaching the masses. Think in terms of building a relationship.
  3. This doesn’t take strategic planning from the church leadership or a weekend of training. It is a simple invitation to a potentially lonely person.

“I meet with a group on Thursday nights. We drink coffee and talk about the Bible. Why don’t we meet up and you come with me?”

It’s really that simple.

We have an epidemic of loneliness, and the body of Christ has the ideal solution. “Come join my family. Let’s journey together as we walk with Christ.”

Let me repeat myself. It’s that simple.

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