God Created Us to Thrive in Community
In visiting congregations for my book 52 Churches, I realized the importance of community. Regardless of the music or the message we encountered during their service, the bigger factor in our experience was the human connection.
Make a Human Connection at Church
If I interacted with others before or after the service, I valued my time with them more highly. The opposite also proved true. When everyone ignored us—which happened too often—my reaction to my experience with them was less favorable.
Those churches that I recall most fondly are those where we had meaningful interactions with others. I wanted to return. Those churches that I felt no affinity toward were those where I had no human connection. This happened irrespective of what took place during the service.
It takes more than wonderful music and a meaningful message for church to provide what people really crave. We need each other. We need to form significant community.
Maintain Relationships with Others
Fostering community—enjoying human connection—emerges as a critical element, not only with church but also in all of life. This includes enjoying positive interactions with family, friends, and neighbors.
As we interact with others, we can show them the love of Jesus. We can do so with our words and through our actions.
Form Human Connections
Meeting in person is the best and easiest way to form significant connections with others. We’re good at looking each other face-to-face and talking. When fitting, we can enjoy an appropriate physical touch. This includes a handshake or hug.
Yet at present, our in-person interactions face severe limits. Although the details vary depending on where we live, what those around us expect, and what the government mandates, we face obstacles in connecting with others.
This could include social distancing, wearing face masks, and avoiding larger gatherings. These restrictions all inhibit our ability to form and maintain meaningful human interactions.
Pursue Connection with God
What about those times when we can’t meet with others? When we feel isolated? When loneliness overtakes us? God is there. He is with us. Never forget that.
God created us to live in community, just as he exists in community with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God never intended us to be alone (Genesis 2:18). He promised he would never leave us, never turn his back on us (Hebrews 13:5).
Regardless of the situation in our world and whether we can form human connections, God is always there. Our connection with him is what matters most.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.