Why You Might Still Feel A Bit Lonely on Sundays
It’s been common to hear people say that they went to a church for a significant period of time and never really felt connected. What I’ve come to realize is that what is really being said is that they attended a large gathering of that church community… and that any such gathering that’s larger than 25 people… isn’t by nature designed to develop meaningful personal connection. Sociologists will affirm that basic truth.
The reality is that we don’t attend a church… we are the church. What we attend are gatherings of the church. The larger gatherings serve some very unique and vital aspects of our spiritual life. However, as we leave the larger gatherings, we are likely to sense an unconscious and interesting dynamic in terms of connection. We may sense something of the profound mystery of being spiritually connected through joining our voice with others in worship… or taking communion from the common elements. But we are also likely to leave in our cars a bit lonely as well. Because we were in a crowd but not personally known.
That is where the Home Church and support groups provide real life. It is in these relationally centered gatherings that we can be joined by others in the real life that we are living… and stand with others in what God is working in them. It is in such an interactive context that we exercise the process of God’s word speaking to us… and His Spirit speaking through one another. It is there that we discover that Jesus is not only in us… but among us… just as he said. (Matthew 18:20).