It started a week ago when I was listening to the radio (yes I confess I listen to Christian radio) McCrindle had done some research and discovered that a third of the people surveyed were praying more and about 40% thinking more about God. (You can read about it here) Australians are thinking more about God and admitting it, out loud!
Add to that some research coming out of Barna Group in the USA. They, like Fuller Institute, highlight how strong relationship within a Church helps build resilient disciples. (Check out the full article here)
Here’s the interesting thing …
Note the top line – I have at least 1 close friend I trust with my secrets. Half of the people researched didn’t have someone that they trusted to be deeply honest with, not even habitual church attenders were much better but Resilient Disciples were at 83%, what is that about?
Here is my guess, when we take the life of Jesus seriously and it has become deeply embedded in who we are and we meet with others who live this way too, there is an honesty that comes with it, a vulnerability. We no longer need to be perfect because we are saved, loved, held by the grace of God. When you hang out with others who hold you in the same way, it only deepens the experience. Living in this space should mean we have nothing to prove, as we are loved by God, and in turn, we are also loved by those who follow God.
Interestingly the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare did some research a couple of years ago that stated: “social contact alone does not reduce loneliness, it may be that the building of quality relationships…
I wonder if this is your experience of Christian fellowship? Do you still feel lonely and isolated
Interestingly it only takes 1 deep relationship to change this. Just one…
Now imagine if we decided to meet with a person not part of the Church as well. To love them as Jesus loves us. To become that trusted friend who loves them unconditionally sees the best in them, is real with them and allows them to be real with us too. Being real and honest about what is going on in their lives, the joys and the struggles.
I’m not asking much… Just one person
Mostly that’s all Jesus
This is the Church I want to come out of
I’m not asking much… Just one person…
Karen Mitchell-Lambert is ordained in the ministry of Deacon and is the team leader of PULSE.