We all have a sense of aloneness that we don’t like.
Last week I was talking with a freshman at a local university who admitted this was her first time looking for a church. She didn’t know what to do or how to connect. She was sorting through all the newness and loneliness of being on her own. Based on government figures of more than 9 million people who report ”always or often” feeling alone, the U.K. now has a Minister on Loneliness. With all the talk of suicide awareness this month, social isolation as a risk factor is front and center. Aching loneliness, feeling detached, a broken sense of belonging or being able to connect are common.
Cells are an antidote to the loneliness of modern society.
Cells are places of sharing and connection. They are an opportunity for anyone who is looking for relationships, dialogue, and community. When we participate in relationships of love and truth, it deepens our experience of life and helps us move through our loneliness to build mutuality and trust. This takes time! The environment of a cell provides face-to-face time where people who don’t know each other can develop real relationships and work out how to love each other.
The church is a second chance at family. There is risk and opportunity.
My cell is currently planning to multiply from one group into two so that we can include more people. Talk of changing this good thing we have going stirs up our need to hold on to healthy relationships. (We had a generative conversation about adult attachment theory.) The cell provides an environment to form new attachments and work through our ways of relating while also calling us into a deeper relationship with God. The risk and opportunity of being a part of the church is that we have a second chance at family, an opportunity to ease our way back into love. The dynamic life of a cell is that we can keep letting each other move at our own pace while we also keep moving. Multiplying cells (and sticking with each other in the long run) is a way to trust that God is going to keep after us until we are securely attached to Love, until our security breeds security and alleviates our loneliness and others’ loneliness.
We are convicted to keep forming these circles of hope. All of our cells are new this fall and open to you. I hope you will connect to one and discover how God meets you in the midst of your loneliness.