For many, our lives are just too busy to make time for church. We are inundated with obligations from work, family, and school or leisure activities like television, sports and social clubs. Others simply don't recognize any value by becoming part of a church family or learning about messages from the Bible.
My hope is that you the visitor will not rush through this site, but rather take some time from your busy schedule to read through the many facets and scripture references. Messages from the Bible can have such a profound and positive impact on you, people in the community and people around the world.
There are over 330 million people in the United States and 7 billion in the world. These days it is difficult for us to find time to be alone and reflect on our thoughts and ideas. The demands of technology, economy, government, work and social interaction often result in a life full of both opportunities and responsibilities.
In the 21st century it is so easy to stay in touch with people and develop new relationships through countless social media platforms. We can easily start dialogues with people across the state, country and around the world with the ease of our phone. We can more easily meet people with similar interests and hobbies. We can gather knowledge and education at the comfort of our homes.
Even as household size continues to decline, the average size of new homes and costs continue to rise. In 1999 the average family size was 3.18 people and the median new home was 2,057 square feet. In 2019 the average family size was 3.14 people, the median new house size was 2,355 square feet. In addition the median price for a new home in 2019 was $329,750.
Debt is a serious issue for most Americans. According to information gathered in 2019 from NerdWallet and Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the total average debt owed by household was $137,879. The report went on to find that the average debt owed by Americans for each of the following groups were: student debt - $46,679, Auto debt - $27,934, mortgage debt - $192,618, credit card debt - $7,2014. Equally alarming is that almost 80% of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
Even with a growing population, increased means of staying connected and larger homes, loneliness is an issue. More than a fifth of adults in the United States (22%) say they often or always feel lonely, feel they lack companionship, feel left out, or feel isolated from others. In 2018 the adult population in the United States was almost 240,000,000 which correlates to almost 53,000,000 adults feeling lonely and isolated from others.
In 2018 on average there were 123 suicides per day resulting in a staggering 48,334 suicides committed in the United States. In comparison there were 16,214 homicides in 2018, a difference of 32,120 lives lost.
Suicide was the 2nd leading cause of death for age groups between ages of 10-34, and the 10th leading cause of death overall in the United States. Contemplate the number of lives effected by suicide - parents, siblings, relatives, friends and co-workers.
From a high in 2014, the life expectancy has decreased for the past 3 years from 78.9 years to 78.6 years. According to the CDC, in 2019 36.5% of adults and 17% of children were obese. Obesity increases the risk of certain serious health conditions such as cancer, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke as well as significant increases in early mortality and healthcare costs.
According to the 2019 Pew Research Center, adults attending a church service on a regular basis has been declining over the past 20 years. In 2009 Pew found that 52% of American adults attended church at least once a month. Ten years later this number decreased to 45%. During this same period the number of adults who never attend a church service increased from 11% to 17%.
Not surprisingly the number of American adults who don't identify themselves with any religion has also been on the rise. In 2009, 11%, or 39 million adults identified themselves with no religious affiliation and by 2019 this number has increased to 17% or 68 million.
The decline in church membership may have a negative impact on the surrounding community. Churches are an example of what urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg calls a "third place." Third places are spaces where people spend time between their first and second places—home and work, respectively. Third places serve as community builders. This means they are locations where, in the case of churches, people can share their worries, rejoice, and renew together.
As third places, churches fulfill important social and civic functions. Churches provide a sense of community and belonging, as opposed to self-segregated enclaves. In these times of dizzyingly deep division, American communities could surely benefit from togetherness.