We hope the Equip Night was a help to those who attended last night. We are excited to offer more nights like these on a variety of relevant topics again in the summer.
Here's a few takeaways from last night:
Loneliness and Isolation is an Epidemic that effects spiritual, emotional, and physical health.
The Cigna survey of more than 20,000 U.S. adults ages 18 years and older revealed some alarming findings in regards to loneliness and isolation: (see full Cigna survey here)
Nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone (46 percent) or left out (47 percent).
One in four Americans (27 percent) rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them.
Two in five Americans sometimes or always feel that their relationships are not meaningful (43 percent) and that they are isolated from others (43 percent).
One in five people report they rarely or never feel close to people (20 percent) or feel like there are people they can talk to (18 percent).Americans who live with others are less likely to be lonely (average loneliness score of 43.5) compared to those who live alone (46.4). However, this does not apply to single parents/guardians (average loneliness score of 48.2) – even though they live with children, they are more likely to be lonely.
Only around half of Americans (53 percent) have meaningful in-person social interactions, such as having an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family, on a daily basis.
Generation Z (adults ages 18-22) is the loneliest generation and claims to be in worse health than older generations.
Social media use alone is not a predictor of loneliness; respondents defined as very heavy users of social media have a loneliness score (43.5) that is not markedly different from the score of those who never use social media (41.7).
The Story of Naomi and Ruth gave a glimpse into how difficult circumstances effect individuals
Every person deals with circumstances that can create intense feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Loneliness is a state of mind. Our emotions tend to speak louder in those moments than what is true. We are tempted to be bitter at God when lonely.
When overwhelmed with loneliness we can overlook the ways God is providing for us. Naomi was overlooking the goodness of God in sending her Ruth at first.
We learned about the benefits and invitation of the "Church as Family"
The invitation to a new identity.
The invitation to belong.
The invitation to meaningful community.
The invitation to purpose.
The invitation to serve one another.
We learned about the opportunity that hospitality gives the church to make a difference in our lonely world.
Some practical steps to take:
Meet your neighbors. Introduce yourself to them and remember their name.
Invite them over. Share a meal together.
Look for common interests and aim at consistent hospitality with them.
Be in tune with how the Spirit of God is at work around you.
3 barriers to practicing hospitality:
"The Art of Neighboring”- Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon
"A Meal with Jesus”- Tim Chester
"The Gospel Comes with a House Key”- Rosaria Butterfield
"Side by Side"- Ed Welch
“Life Together”- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“7 Myths About Singleness”- Sam Alberry
Tools & Websites:
www.brookstonechurch.org/groups (Make plans to attend GroupLink on March 24th to find a group)
www.knownproject.com ("Well Known" Cards are available for purchase at Brookstone Weaverville Campus at discounted rates)
Brookstone Counseling Ministry (www.brookstonechurch.org/counseling)
www.erlc.com Search for topics for additional resources/articles/video helps on issues involving isolation, loneliness, and more.
Keep an eye out for more resources on the blog as we continue to learn how to move towards others and fight against the "radical individualism" that brings about the loneliness and isolation we experience.