Lost Touch?

The internet has done wonders to bring lost family members and friends back together again after years of separation.  How many times have we heard of individuals researching their family history over the internet to discover that they have a brother that lived through the war and is now in Europe?  How many times have we seen brothers and sisters reunited after years of separation because the internet allowed someone to find them?  Even Facebook (if this is the correct spelling) is reuniting people.  One person from the church I serve talked last Sunday how he is being united with grade school friends whom he hasn’t talked with in twenty years.

The internet is doing wonders to unite people together.  At the same time, I wonder if it has allowed us to be separated from one another even further than what we are.  With the internet we can keep a safe distance by not revealing anything “real” about our lives.  We don’t have to get personal and therefore our relationships over the internet can be impersonal.  The internet may bring us together in more ways than one, but I have to wonder if it is also separating and making us loose touch with each other and therefore not allowing us to enter into deeper relationships with people.

As I reflect upon this I am looking out my office window at five high rise condominiums and apartment buildings.  Two events have happened in the last two weeks that have made me look at these apartments and condos in a different way. 

First, we had a break-in.  Very little damage was done to the building, except for a broken window.  At 4:30 in the morning when I’m having coffee with the police they tell me that our church is located in one of the worst parts of town for drugs.  Drug deals are taking place on your property all the time,” they tell me, and I sit there with a look of shock as I have no clue what is happening in the lives of my neighbors surrounding the church building.

Second, a few days ago I had coffee with an older gentleman from one of the apartment buildings.  You know what your problem is?” he asks, “No one knows who you guys are” (speaking of the church).  Again I am reminded that we have lost touch with the lives of our neighbors. 

Looking at the church directory it seems obvious how we have lost touch with our neighbors.  Only two individuals live within walking distance of the building, whereas we have 19 families that commute to church every Sunday from different towns or cities.  No wonder we have lost touch with our neighbors.

How can our churches be better neighbors?  How can our churches impact, not people in a different city, but people around us, who live right beside our building?  I think it is time we become better neighbors!  I think it is time that we learn about the lives of our neighbors and maybe by learning about their lives, then and only then will we be able to share with them the news of Jesus Christ.

Published in: on April 20, 2007 at 10:07 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Nathan –
    I’ve been reading this blog since the beginning…it had proven to be a profound encouragement to me. This entry is haunting. “No one knows who you guys are…” Wow. I wonder how true that statement is for churches located in various neighborhoods across the world. Please let your loyal readers know how you and your flock respond to this reality.
    – Jarrod

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