Yesterday, I was speaking to a brother and friend on the phone and he keyed me in on this book by Robert D. Putnam. The book is titled Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. What is interesting is that this book is written from a totally secular perspective. The very idea of community is foreign to most people today, especially those in the church. Here are a couple of “factoids” from the Bowling Alone website:

1. Joining and participating in one group cuts in half your odds of dying next year.

2. Every ten minutes of commuting reduces social capital by 10%.

3. Watching commercial entertainment TV is the only leisure activity where doing more of it is associated with lower social capital.

The website says that social capital is “the very fabric of our connections with each other” and says that this fabric has plummeted. It is clear that God created us to need to be in community with other people. The gospel and the church is all about community. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way those of different races, economic classes, nationality, etc. can come together for genuine community as being people who have experienced a common faith (Gal. 3:28; Jude 3). If we aren’t experiencing and practicing and living community in our churches, then we are missing a key element of the gospel itself.