Our ChallengeI cannot count the times I have had conversations with pastors who told me they felt alone. They felt that they had no friends to confide in, or they doubted that anyone would be there for them if some tragedy happened in their life. How did we ever come to this? How did we get to a place where pastors and everyday Christians feel alone? Loneliness has become the number one social issue in our country. According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, loneliness has become an epidemic and more dangerous than cigarette smoking. Americans are battling the effects of loneliness such as depression, eating disorders, and even suicide. As Christians, we have hope. We are to be a body, closely connected with others around us. We should bear each other’s burdens and hold each other up; yet in the church often the opposite is true.
Love Over LonelinessWhen Amber and I went through the dark time of our girls surviving, rehabbing, and climbing out of that horrible accident, we felt many things. But alone was not one of them. Before the wreck occurred, the culture in our young church plant was to do life together and to live the life of disciples as Jesus modeled and commands in Scripture—that we would truly live out loving God and loving each other, that we would have “everything in common” as the book of Acts describes.
Side note: I write about this topic and my experiences during this season of my life in more detail in Chapter 8 of my book Disciple-Making Culture.
A Different Kind of CultureI wrote Disciple-Making Culture to help inspire, motivate, and challenge the church today to be something different, to walk out the life of a disciple and create a culture where disciple-making can occur. When we do that, loneliness is pushed out and a sense of community enters in its place. Without Christ and without his church being the church, I know Amber and I could have never made it. So many nights we both woke to beeping machines and a fear of the unknown, but never, not once, were we alone.
To understand more about the need and calling for a disciple-making culture in our churches, be sure to check out the Disciple-Making Culture Visual Introduction here.