I believe there is an universal need for connection, emotional intimacy, and love. No matter how independent, autonomous, and self-sufficient you are, you still need other people. The old adage “no man is an island” is true. Some of us may not have a great need for people, we may be introverted, spend most of our time isolated, and even prefer to be alone – avoiding all contact with others if it is possible, but even then (perhaps I should say especially then) we need to connect at a real level with a few real people.
Our world is becoming increasingly virtual, digitized, and distant. But no robot, automaton, or computer chip can satisfy or replace our need for human closeness. We all need human touch, interactions with coworkers and friends, and a sense of belonging. Babies who are left alone and only given water, nutritional needs (milk), a warm blanket, and shelter, often die from marasmus (the lack of human contact).
Acording to many intelligent deep thinkers, we also need to know that we are loved by Someone or something greater than ourselves. We need a connection with Someone who will always be there for us, even when Mom and Dad are not. I don not feel safe or secure without a connection to my Divine Creator. Even those who don’t believe in God (or in a Higher Power that runs the universe) still need to feel they are a part of something greater than themselves – that life has purpose and meaning.
If you are a Christian or have grown up in church, you understand the basic theology of creation and that God loves you you were taught that He has a plan for your life. But that isn’t enough. Unless you are truly connected to your Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, and unless you feel genuinely connected to a few Christian brothers and sisters, you are living a life of emotional and relational poverty. God never intended for us to live lives of loneliness, disconnected from Him and His Body the Church. And if you feel dejected or discouraged, you may need to know it isn’t God or true Christ-followers who are rejecting you. God created us to be part of His family.
Many people leave the church and end up missing out on fellowship and friendship with other believers because of bad experiences, social anxiety, or conflict and control issues. Some church attenders leave because they don’t feel welcome, cared for, or needed. Whatever your situation or experience, if you haven’t been participating in the “family gatherings” I want to welcome you back. (If you have no place you feel safe or comfortable – you are welcome to come with me to my church!)
Unfortunately many people attend churches where members are superficial, or uptight and distant. In these churches, I think there is an hunger for connection. If this is true for you, make a change! First, by being more vulnerable, genuine, and brave – reaching out to others where you are already involved, and, if these efforts don’t get results (after a few months), consider finding a worshiping community that consists of at least a few people with whom you can be real.
God wants you to know Him intimately and to be an active engaged member of the Body of Christ. What are you waiting for? Begin now by taking whatever steps necessary to follow Jesus into honest sharing and caring – with Him and with other disciples and seekers. Don’t settle for less; God wants you to experience true Christian community.