Connections to Counter-Act Loneliness

Thanks to Innovation Lab’s Meghan Hatcher for sharing this Great Idea in her recent Lightbulb Moment.

I am unable to link to her full post, so here it is in its entirety:

Meghan writes:

‘I recently read this mission statement for an organization in Seattle: [Org. name] is a community of open-minded people motivated to connect with others on a deeper level. We’re on a mission to improve our social wellbeing by consistently engaging in intentional conversations, curated social experiences, and community discussion channels. Together, we’re cultivating more meaningful relationships with ourselves, each other, and the world.

Sounds a lot like a church’s mission statement, doesn’t it? Or, perhaps it sounds a lot like what a church’s mission could be, if you rooted it theologically.

This is actually the mission statement of a secular organization called Connection Feast. They’re based in Seattle and offer in-person social events, Growth Groups, and Connection Workshops to help people learn to cultivate friendships.

I’m curious what the Church can learn from groups like Connection Feast, about the vital importance of helping people develop meaningful relationships.

This summer, your community is likely to welcome residents who are new to town. Young people might be home from college. K-12 students might miss their routines and access to the resources provided by their schools. Families you haven’t seen in a while may return as the hectic school-year pace slows down. According to national data on the epidemic of loneliness, at least half of these people are lonely.

What opportunities could your faith community create this summer for people to get to know one another deeply? What could you do to help people go beyond just occupying the same space for an hour on Sunday?

These don’t need to be brand new, big, flashy ministries. But they should prioritize deep relationships, since that’s what people crave most. The summer months are the perfect time to run small-scale experiments, especially because who participates will fluctuate from week to week as people travel.

Consider these questions as you continue to make summer plans.

  1. What are people’s unique needs during the summer — which likely differ from the school year — and how might the faith community respond? 
  2. What events, activities, or programs are currently on the summer ministry schedule that will help people develop deeper relationships with God, themselves, and others? 
  3. How could you slightly modify an event, activity, or program to deepen the possibilities for relational growth? 
  4. How could you incorporate more discussion and connection among people this summer? Check out these suggestions for asking more thoughtful questions.

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How might The Ministry Lab support new ministries such as these?

Send us an email and we’ll find out!