Updated: Mar 1
In a recent podcast produced by Lifeway Students, Dr. Shelly Melia says that Generation Alpha (children born in the year 2010 and after) will be the loneliest generation yet. Why is that? Many of their formative years were spent in quarantine and isolation. They are the first generation where 100% of them were homeschooled at some point in their life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are growing up in an age where instead of playing outside with friends, they now play online. Experts say that today's 7 year olds have already spent an entire year's worth of time in front of a screen. Parents now use their baby's feeding time as an excuse to check Facebook rather than talk or sing to their baby.
With these shocking and disturbing trends, it is more important than ever that the church be a place where legitimate community takes place, from the nursery all the way to the senior adults. In a world where loneliness is normative and even welcomed, let's be a chuch that is committed to Christ centered fellowship by encouraging one another on to good works. Let us be a church that models for our children what life in Christ looks like and how that life is inherently lived out in deep, loving community. Today's children and teenagers are starved for deep and meaningful relationships. It is one of many things that iPhones and video games cannot offer. If the church does not offer deep and meaningful community, then our children and students will go and find it somewhere else, leaving them vulnerable to being "tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching..." (Eph. 4:14)
Parents, model for your children what Christian friendships and community looks like. Teach them the importance of having shoulders to cry on and friends to rejoice with. Show them the power of worshipping with the gathered saints in their local church.By doing so, you are giving your kids a message this increasingly secular and lonely world cannot give them- a message of hope.