Last year New Wine ran an encouraging story about the need for housegroup (although they saw part of the reason as the ‘superficial relationships’ offered by social networking (well, we’ve argued here several times that those don’t have to be superficial!!):
Having been brought up in church, I know that church leaders are always talking about the importance of community. On the one hand we’re told, and rightly, that in the individualistic culture of the West, people are crying out for community. In an age where family breakdown is endemic (there are around two million families in the UK headed by a lone parent – almost a quarter of all families with children), people are looking for second families to compensate for the failure of their first ones.
In an age in which urban life is characterised by a high level of transience – following jobs, moving in and out incessantly – people are looking for regular contact with the same people. In an ageing society there are huge levels of isolation among older people. Half of all people aged 75 and over live alone, with nearly half of all older people considering the television as their main form of company. In 2006 over half a million older people spent Christmas day alone.
Read the full story. Are you part of a housegroup? What value do you find in it? If you don’t go, what would encourage you to go (either online or offline)?