This week our guest Gmail writer is Brian Rhen, PCC’s Pastor of People Development. Don’t forget to join us for the FALL STAKEHOLDER UPDATE tonight at 7PM in the Worship Center!
GET IN A GROUP OR DIE?
Robert Putnam, a researcher and author of Bowling Alone, found if you make no other change (you don’t start working out; you don’t start eating better), but you JOIN A SMALL GROUP when you were not in a small group before, you cut the odds of your dying this year in half!
This study was done right here in the Bay Area. Actually, the researchers found people who were actually willing to be infected with a virus that causes the common cold. Consequently, people with strong emotional connections, who were relationally connected, did four times better fighting off illness than those who were more isolated. These relationally connected people were less susceptible to colds, had less virus, and produced significantly less mucus than relationally isolated subjects. It is literally true: unfriendly people are snottier than friendly people!
Furthermore, people who had bad health habits (smoking, bad eating habits, obesity, alcohol, these bad health habits) but strong social ties lived significantly longer than people who had great health habits (out jogging and stuff) but were isolated. In other words, it is better for you to eat brownies with good friends in a small group than eat brussels sprouts alone.
I came across this research and message from John Ortberg on RIGHT NOW MEDIA this past week (to see it yourself, create your free RightNow Media login here, then search “Shadow Missions”), it literally made me laugh out loud and want to eat a lot of peanut M&Ms and chocolate chip cookies with many of you! And then it made me think of the last 25 years of how being in a small group has benefited me:
- It has given me a biblical kingdom perspective on life versus an earthly selfish perspective.
- It has helped me to graciously love my wife and more patiently parent my kids.
- It has carried my soul through the darkest, most confusing, and frustrating times.
- It has helped me learn to laugh at my flawed humanness and embrace others not like me more.
- It has modeled for me how to handle my money, forgiveness, sexuality, food, parents, health, social issues, pain, connection with God, and so much more.
Without the regular participation in a small group I know I would be dead in my small earthly selfish perspective. The author of Hebrews said it so simply: “…let us not neglect our meeting together.” (Hebrews 10:25)
So how about you Brussel Sprouts alone or Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Peanut M&Ms together? THIS SUNDAY, September 10, after each gathering, roam the GROUP FAIR on the lawn to find the people to help you experience an abundant life. We have groups of all stages and ages that are coed, male, or female. And if you have never been in a group before at PCC or want to try something new, check out the ROOTED Group section, which kicks off next Tuesday, September 12.
Fan of the PCC community,