In this age of technology, how we relate to one another and connect as a community looks far different than it has ever looked before.
Relationships have a whole new framework in which they can build connection and intimacy.
Half a century ago and earlier people made formed relationships based around neighborhoods, church affiliations, school and office relationships, acquaintances and family ties. People often made relationships by mail and pen and paper letters and by telephone if they lived long distances.
Now, with the touch of a few keys on a computer or laptop, apps on our phone, texts and a variety of other portable devices we can make new friends and associates of various networks of people. It is truly quite amazing what we can do.
It seems as if those things have polarized the two extremes.
On one hand it has created new opportunities to build relationships and connect people who wouldn't otherwise know each other. For example, I've seen quite a few marriages by people who have met online. I've also seen the flip side. I've seen social media cause rifts and divorces.
I've also witnessed a deeper shade of lonely than I ever than I've seen before as these new frontiers of communication have formed. Bullying and stalking, terrorism and prejudice have also shown themselves on online social platforms.
As we focus in a little deeper and look at the church, for example, plenty of people are leaving it. And from what I can assess after speaking to quite a few of them, they are leaving for one reason.
Many are re-evaluating what community looks like for them. Community isn't looking like local church participation alone anymore. Particularly, the millennial generation has a different vision and expectation for community. They are growing deeply dissatisfied with the model they've grown up with. Older generations have grown dissatisfied with the status quo and faulty models.
Community has taken on a very different meaning. The framework of our faith is expanding and changing. It is not because the faithful are conforming to the patterns of this world or walking away from their faith. It is that the faithful are looking to improving relational experience to reflect heaven here on earth now that is not limited to human understanding but supernatural power in community together.
What does "together" look like now? The experience of being together with your tribe has a different manifestation in the current age.
Find your tribe.
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