According to a former U.S. Surgeon General, loneliness is a "growing health epidemic." In a recent survey, 2 in 5 Americans said that they sometimes or always feel that their relationships aren't meaningful (43%) and that they are isolated from others (43%). Earlier this year, the U.K. appointed a "Minister for Loneliness" to try to address the issue. Loneliness and social isolation are a growing issue throughout late-modern societies. In such a context, what, if anything, does the church have to say and do?
If asked to write it down, what would your life's mission statement be? Just as, or even more, importantly, how did you go about answering that question? Underneath these questions are two of the central questions of life: What is our purpose, and how can we know it?
In our highly polarized world, Jesus calls the church to embody a unity that points the world to the supernatural power of the gospel.
What picture would come to mind if you heard someone described as "holy?" Would you picture someone who, at best, is austere and who, at worst, is self-righteous and judgmental? That would probably be a pretty common reaction. But what if holiness has gotten a bad rap and is in fact the key to our wholeness?
If God answered all your prayers from this past week, how many people would have come to saving faith? How would people in your church have been blessed? How would your city be better? If we struggle to answer these questions, is it possible that our prayers are inadvertently deepening our self-centeredness rather than helping to free us from it? We reflect on these and other questions as we consider “missional prayer” in our latest sermon.