There’s a thing called TED Talks. It stands for Technology, Education & Design. They have these big conferences around the world. And are presentations by really froward thinking people on all sorts of topics. There is a weekly email that comes to your inbox with the best in TED Talks. Anyways, its really good.
I delete more than I click on, however this past week one got my attention. It was entitled “How cohousing can make us happier (and live longer)”. That got my attention.
I’ll let you watch it, but as Robin & I watched this around 10minute video we almost kept yelling at the screen things like…
“The only thing missing is Jesus” or “This is how its supposed to be” or “Read Acts 2 lady” or “This is the early church” or “No, she did not just say that”.
In a time when if you live in the west then your country is confronting issues of mental health and suicide more so that ever before in history. And don’t worry developing countries aren’t too far behind. Every country has shocking suicide stats because without sounding cheesy, 1 suicide is too much. But people suicide for two reasons. Loss of hope and loss of social connection. We are more connected yet more lonely now than ever.
Yet if you watch this Ted Talks you can see why this form of living in so attractive. And then if you insert Jesus or parallel read with Acts 2 and Acts 4: 32-37 we can begin to understand that what we offer at followers of Christ is so transformative that who knows where it would go.
I was recently having coffee with a youth director at a church and he was telling me about the intentional community they have grown into in a quiet street. That what once started with 1 house and a few people living together is now over 20 in several houses on the same street. The challenge he said was that there were some conflicts and tension arising and asked me if I thought it was because had got too big.
My response began with asking him why he thought it had got so “big”. Rhetorical as it may sound, but what their community offered was attractive and enticing and very welcoming to an outsider. So much so that many wanted in, to be a part of it and so they joined and now it had mushroomed to several houses and 20+ people.
Remember people are looking for hope and social connection. Or should I say meaningful Christ-centered hope and meaningful social connection (don’t get me wrong, screens and social media have a place). We went on to talk about the challenge that presented itself when every outsider would join that it would change the dynamics of a house and that the community would need to establish or re-establish the guidelines/practices for living.
That it is a slow process, certainly not a quick or an efficient to do life. But people didn’t want to be in this setting because it was quick or efficient. They wanted in because it was hope giving and connecting.
As the Ted Talk concluded the speaker references studies and stats of the benefits of cohousing. These are alarming good. Imagine if that same cohousing was centered around people, families, groups and individuals coming together for whom doing life and faith was the goal.