MONDAY SCHOOL for July 23, 2017, #3.3
from What We Have In Common In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … fellowship …
QUOTE: And here is the main reason why loneliness is a killer. You were not created to be alone. God created us human beings to be like a herd, like a basket of puppies. We are meant to be connected and be around other people, and for centuries. My boy would never in a million years think of moving to Austin because the way we were created is for your children and grandchildren to live next door. You know how it was 100 years ago. Kids lived with their parents and helped with the farm, right? That’s how it was.
We are meant to be connected and be around other people, and throughout our life time. A century ago my son would never in a million years think of moving from Illinois to Texas because the way we were created is for your children and grandchildren to live next door. You know how it was 100 years ago. Kids lived with their parents and helped with the farm, right? That’s how it was. And as the parents got older, eventually, the kids got to farm and the parents babysit the grandchildren right in the same house. Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. We weren’t created to be so disconnected. It is not normal for the way God made us as people. But sadly, it is normal for the way society is today. We live in a society that disconnects people from each other. And we all suffer greatly because of that. We were not created to be alone.
Let me introduce you to a bowling team. These are the Incredibowl Divas. They are on a bowling team. Anybody here been on a bowling team? Anybody here ever do that?
Years and years ago Robert Putnam, Harvard Sociologist, used this image as the heart of his book, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. People are still bowling, but they are not bowling on bowling teams. They are not bowling in leagues. Do you know why?
The team may need you on the night your favorite TV program is on. If you work or serve on a bowling team, you may have to change your schedule because you have made a commitment, and the way our society is going is people are avoiding everything that might involve a commitment. Like being here at 9:00 on Sunday morning.
People don’t want to be tied down by all those commitments. Now, if you’re on a bowling team, you really get to know the other people on your team. You get to know them well enough to borrow $20. You get to know them well enough to borrow a car if you’re having trouble with yours. You get to know them well enough to where you trust them and they trust you, but when people don’t make commitments to each other, no one knows who can be trusted.
So all of a sudden, there’s all kinds of people out there that never had the commitment to come here, but they will come here and ask for money for gas. They will come here and ask for other things. Got a letter a few weeks ago from a lady who wanted the church to put a new roof on her house because the people in Salem wouldn’t do it. She lived out in the country. Commitment is what creates relationships that meet this need for human caring. It’s a part of all of us.
And one of the things that Robert Putnam points out is the church is the primary builder of social networks. And if the church does not do this well, the church becomes more and more empty. Last week, we talked about the reality that most of our members would prefer us to have again the reality of this building being full.
Do you know why it’s not full? People are not being brought into the social network of the church. But the reason that Putnam points this out is that this is also the cure. This is the cure not only for this health epidemic of loneliness, but it’s also the cure for almost every other social problem our society faces from crime to addiction to gangs to you name it. The cure is for the church to be the church and return to building community among people, return to building social networks among neighbors.
The church has the power to change the world we live in. Jesus has the cure for this illness of loneliness. It’s called church. And right now, I am pleased to give you a big dose of the cure – because we’re all here together.
THINKING IT THROUGH
What gets your attention? Why?
What is the human need or problem here?
What is that like?
SOW: What does it SAY?
What does it say that I should OBEY?
WHO needs to hear this?
What is the divine solution?
How can we visualize it?
How can we make it happen? What are the steps?
The photo “IncredibowlDivas” is by University of Missouri System
and is from https://www.flickr.com/photos/umsystem/33492544235/
courtesy of the Flickr.com Creative Commons license.
This post is based on the sermon series: The Normal Christian Church – Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Sermon #3. What We Have In Common In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … fellowship …