"One youth leader in Pakistan asked for resources, as he wanted new ways to engage his youth. Another attendee volunteered to host café sessions as he enjoyed the opportunity to share the word of God with fellow leaders, daily.
"This space has been a blessing for leaders, as they worked through new issues raised by lockdown, including worries about believers not getting the pastoral care they need, how to support people who aren’t digitally connected, and new expectations from the Church. It was an honour supporting and listening to leaders around the world process these times and praise God in the midst.”
“wired for connection”
I’m a huge fan of researcher and author, Brené Brown. She has made it her life’s work to listen to people’s stories and to figure out what moves us and motivates us; and one of the most powerful things she has learned from hearing thousands of stories is that we are “wired for connection”. Brené writes:
We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, be loved, and to belong...
We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.
It’s not just modern research that reminds us of the value of connection, though; in the Bible we read that:
This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.
- Hebrews 10:25, TPT
The writer of Hebrews encourages Jesus-followers to connect with each other even, and perhaps especially, when it feels difficult, dangerous, or pointless to do so. Why? Because we need each other to thrive. What an enormous challenge this is as we adapt to living in a global pandemic!
Learning to reach out, while staying in
Let’s be honest, a virtual meeting will never be quite as meaningful as seeing a friend or loved one in the flesh and I certainly need to be careful about how much time I spend looking at a screen. I have had to learn (and I am still learning) what balance looks like in this new world and there are times when the best way for me to feel connected to myself, God and the world is to get outside and to breathe in some fresh air. That said, I simply can’t imagine how much harder lockdown would have been without technology and I thank God for it every day.
When we meet with each other – even virtually – we are reminded that we are a part of something that stretches much further than the room that our computer lives in. So, until we meet again, may the Lord bless you and give you peace.
How are you connecting with others at the moment?
Share your experiences with our online community. What are your favourite online social groups or new ways you’re keeping in touch? Share your group call wins (and fails!) and let’s stay connected.
If you want to pray with others, you can join our Together Amen email group. Get prayer inspiration and hear the prayers of children around the world.