My family and I were part of a large church that had many activities and ministries. I jumped in the swirl and began to form relationships with others who were involved in the same things as me. We enjoyed each other, experienced intense spiritual moments together, spoke the same language, voiced the same longings. All the things that make up friendship. Except for one detail; our involvement was limited to a church building and a church ministry. Most of my church friends, probably 99 percent, had never been to my home nor I to theirs. The people I would pray with and cry with and have spiritual intimacy with did not know my childrenâ€™s names or know that I am an avid rose gardener with over 20 rose bushes in my backyard.
It was like an illusion, the illusion of friendship and the illusion of community.
Yep. Busy-ness and projects can create the illusion of friendship and community. But, it could be just an illusion.
How can we tell? What happens when the project ends? What happens with the tasks are complete? Is there still a relationships and a desire (that is acted upon) to spend time together? No… then it was an illusion.
This illusion can cause the busiest, most engaged, most assimilated people within the church actually live a lonely life.