I wanted to kickoff a series about loneliness as one of the major contemporary curses in our community. A meta-analysis study published in 2015 show an increased likelihood of mortality of 29% for social isolation, 26% for loneliness, and 32% for living alone.1 Loneliness is actually shortening lives.
Reflect on Acts 2.46 as you read the statistics below: “Every day they devoted themselves to meeting TOGETHER in the temple, and broke bread from HOUSE to HOUSE.” From a Cigna survey of more than 20,000 adults ages 18 and older concerning loneliness measured against the UCLA Loneliness Scale:
- Nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling lonely or left out;
- One in four Americans 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 and that they are isolated from others;
- One in five people report they rarely or never feel close to people or feel like there are people they can talk to;
- Only around half of Americans have meaningful in-person social interactions on a daily basis;
- Generation Z (adults ages 18-22) is the loneliest generation.2
Groups are the remedy. The church has been designed to do community better than any other “institution” in history. We’re created for it; liberated for it; and empowered for it through the work of our Triune God. Begin praying about battling loneliness in your neighborhood.
1. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Timothy B. Smith, Mark Baker, Tyler Harris, David Stephenson, “Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality: A Meta-Analytic Review,” in Perspectives on Psychological Science 10, 2 (2015). Accessed https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1745691614568352?journalCode=ppsa on May 15, 2019.
2. Ellie Polack, “Research Puts Spotlight on the Impact of Loneliness in the U.S. and Potential Root Causes.” Accessed https://www.cigna.com/newsroom/news-releases/2018/new-cigna-study-reveals-loneliness-at-epidemic-levels-in-america on May 15, 2019.