According to RandyFrazee, the average American family manages 35 separate relationships on a day-to-day basis—children, extended family, neighbors, government, school, friends, work, Starbucks employees, landlords, telemarketers, etc. And this is before that family gets invited to church, which usually adds another 6 connections—at least.I've often wondered about that very thing. In trying to create community among our fellow Christians, how many times do we end up degrading the other relationships they have? I see people here with their kids involved in band, football, Sylvan, and who knows what else. These frequently are the same ones that wind up falling away from the Body.
As a result, Americans are knee-deep in the unprecedented phenomenon of grouped isolation—what Frazee refers to as "crowded loneliness." We are in desperate need of meaningful relationships, yet too busy and too pulled to maintain them.
Even worse, our attempts to relieve our sense of isolation often contribute to our fragmentation. We might join a small group, for example. We'll get in contact with 3 to 11 other dedicated Christians and commit to meet and study the Bible every week.
But what happens? Those 3 to 11 people become another chunk of relationships that we have to manage—relationships that require phone calls, polite questions on Sunday morning, and Christmas gifts. That weekly Bible study devolves into thirty minutes of preparation, thirty minutes in the car driving to and from the appointed house, thirty minutes of genial conversation, thirty minutes of discussion, thirty minutes of prayer, and thirty dollars to pay the babysitter. In other words, our attempts to forge meaningful relationships often add up being "just another thing to do." HT Out of Ur
But how do you fix it?