Continuing the sermon series on “Overcoming Loneliness,” Pastor Todd McGlinchey brings our attention back to the importance of community; he speaks about small groups and how they are the cure for loneliness and isolation. He mentions the United States Surgeon General's report that names loneliness and isolation as the single most significant threat to public health in America— worse than obesity, diabetes, and smoking.
From here, he explains the ABCs of small groups; these are Accountability, Belonging, and Care. He explains that accountability involves inviting others into our lives to challenge priorities and relationships. When speaking about belonging, he refers to it as feeling accepted, connected, and comfortable in a group where our absence would be noticed. The final part of the ABCs, he mentions that care refers to the natural response of caring for others when feeling a sense of belonging. Using Acts 2, the speaker references this chapter as the biblical model for community and small groups, and he highlights the devotion to teaching, fellowship, breaking bread together, and prayer. He goes on to mention a Harvard study that found the quality of relationships to be the single most important factor in personal happiness and fulfillment.
Then, he points out the need for intentional effort and time investment in building relationships; this leads him to compare this investment to other important aspects of our lives like fitness, education, and business. Using his personal experiences and the experiences of others, the speaker shares how having friends and small groups has helped himself and others when going through difficult times in their lives. Thus, we are encouraged to make the first move in reaching out to others, to make the effort to invest time in friendships, and to join a small group for community support. For a personal sense of community and godly support, join Cornerstone Family Church of Saint Cloud, Florida, for their Youtube livestreams on Sundays.