This is part of the series How Worship Contributes to Resiliency.
Connecting People with a Community
Every expert seems to agree: isolation is bad for people, especially people under stress. Certainly, there is a place for privacy. For us introverts, “alone time” is important. Even the most introverted, however, need to be connected with others. Intentionally withdrawing from human contact is often a sign of dangerous depression. People connect in all sorts of ways: families, neighborhoods, bowling teams, work buddies, school groups, etc. At the human level, church is a venue for people to connect with others. Church connections can last a lifetime. My octogenarian parents communicate regularly with friends who were members of their Sunday School class during the 1960’s. A few years ago, when I visited the little country church that I led in the 1980’s, the people wrapped their arms around me as if I had never left.
Going to church isn’t like going to the movies, where you do your best to ignore the people in the seats next to you. It’s more like a football game, where everyone is rooting for the same team and even strangers can make a momentary connection after a touchdown. It’s most like a family reunion or an extended family dinner, where people who have an enduring connection reunite and renew their ties to each other. As the old song says, “Blessed be the tie that binds, our hearts in Christian love.”