|In our “overconnected” culture, isn’t it ironic that we feel more isolated than ever?
We may feel like we are involved in people’s lives because we witness everything they have going on via social media, but in reality we’re lonelier than ever. Because we aren’t physically involved in their experiences, we begin to feel overlooked and detached. This often leads us into dissatisfaction and loneliness.
Sometimes loneliness can make us feel like a fly in a completely bare, white walled room. Everything seems empty and overwhelming, and we’re not sure how to move in the right direction.
In order to combat this feeling we scroll through Instagram, Facebook, tic tok, and twitter EVEN MORE, attempting to numb the isolated feeling. These addictions in our pockets are deceiving us into believing we are the only ones not involved – that we are excluded, hidden, invisible to the world.
These are lies!
The Bible makes it clear that we are seen, we are known, and we are loved.
There is one place that was purposely given to believers to actively combat this feeling of loneliness – the local church. Here at Church of the Open Door, we want to walk beside you, encourage you, and get to know who God has made you to be.
One of the best ways to combat the feeling of isolation is to engage with people who believe the same truths you believe.
A longtime member at COD was sharing his story of the first couple of weeks attending church here and said:
When I first came to COD, the first thing that I noticed was how friendly everyone was. However, being on the more reserved side, it was still intimidating getting involved. I knew I wanted to make meaningful relationships so I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to join a HUB group. I didn’t know the leader or most of the people in the group, but I immediately felt welcomed and included. Soon, I was sitting next to them in church, and we were praying for the deep things in our lives. I had people in my life who I could really depend on, who I could encourage and who were an encouragement to me.
There are a number of stories just like this one – people joining Sunday morning classes, plugging into our CODkids ministry, finding a home in our Hillside Student Ministries, connecting with our young adults at Intersect, or even making the sacrifice to serve those around them.
There is something incredible that happens when we decide to press into the local church – the church becomes family!
Just recently we held and all church camping trip. It was to build into each other . . . to figure out how to love the people we call brothers and sisters well . . . to allow our kids to run around, to roast marshmallows, and to laugh deep belly laughs together as they experienced this community . . . to play games and to get a little dirt on our clothes . . . to participate and watch the people around us engage with each other in love.
It was refreshing to experience the renewal of weary hearts while worshipping together on the seaside bluffs as the sun set on the water. There was something essential about getting away from all the noise and distractions and just being together. Something important took place as we lived life for a couple days out in the middle of nowhere, with people who love the same God and who love each other.
We can explore many different avenues as we strive for authentic community. We can look to social media, sports, school, work, or even the local watering hole.
As believers in Jesus Christ, He purposely gave us the church to satisfy this longing.
- It is the place that reminds us that we are seen, we are known and we are loved.
- It is there to encourage our hearts, and to help carry our heavy burdens (Gal. 6:2).
- It is there to stir up love and good works in our lives (Heb. 10:24-25).
- It is a gift to you and to me.
I’m so thankful for this church family, and for the joy that is found as we press into community.
Next Gen Pastor
P.S. If you’d like some encouragement or guidance or have questions as you take a step into this community, I would love to be of help. Please reach out!
From Vacation Bible School to Camp IDRAFOJE to our junior high and high school camps, there are many ways to get connected this summer. And one exciting all church event coming up soon is our Baptism Sunday. It’s happening on Sunday, May 15 at the pool at 12:15pm, and it’s a powerful time together. Lunch is provided. Everyone is welcome!