THE FOUR CORNERED ROOM: In the first corner, “F” is for Fellowship.

Quote #1, from Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.

Social bonds, for example, are by far the most powerful predictor of life satisfaction.
More Americans are bowling than ever before, but they are not bowling in leagues.
Joining and participating in one group cuts in half your odds of dying next year.
It has the equivalent benefit to your health of quitting smoking.
Every ten minutes of commuting reduces all forms of social capital by 10%
Watching commercial entertainment TV is the only leisure activity where doing more of it is associated with lower social capital.
Declining Social Capital: Trends over the last 25 years
Attending Club Meetings: 58% drop
Family dinners: 43% drop
Having friends over: 35% drop

Robert Putnam’s research indicates that American networks of engagement are breaking down and that this loss of “social capital” is the primary cause of many serious social problems. As the church is the primary builder of social networks, the decrease in social capital is both a cause and a result of the decline of church participation in America. Relationships that build community bonds between neighbors are essential to disciple making.

Source: Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, 65-79, 391-392, 408-410.

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