A pre-COVID study showed that over 40% of adults feel lonely. I suspect that figure has risen since March 2020. A 10-year study by BYU showed that loneliness has worse health effects over time than not exercising, alcoholism, obesity, and smoking 15 cigarettes a day! Those negative practices have tangible physical consequences. From this published article, so does feeling isolated and alone. Another study showed that men steadily lose close friendships beginning at age 25.
I had a bunch of guy friends in high school and college. I had fewer in seminary, being married. I have fewer now, with a career and children. At times, I too feel a loneliness—not from my spouse or my children or because of them. I lack peers that I can share with.
Some years ago, I realized that I needed to invest in keeping male friends. Proximity, which worked while in school, wasn’t an option. Having moved several times, I don’t see old friends by coincidence; it takes planning and texting and zooming. In talking to other men, most feel lonely and lack those peer-to-peer relationships, too. And we need them.
Jesus surrounded Himself with 12 men. For three years, they shared life, trials, and triumphs. Paul took other men on his missionary journeys throughout the Mediterranean. Men need other men in their lives. In our current culture, men lack other men in their lives.
Our Men’s Ministry in 2022 will focus on connecting men. We will do this with events, like poker, hiking, Habitat workdays, etc. We will also do this by grouping men into monthly cells of 4-6 where they can gather, share, encourage, and build relationships with one another.
We will start this ministry on Tuesday, January 25, at 6:30p, in Winfield’s. Dinner will be served. All men—be there. If you are a Senior man, be there. If you are in college, be there. If you are a man, be there!