David Brooks: Recession Means Cocooning (and Opportunity for the Church)

David Brooks: Recession Means Cocooning (and Opportunity for the Church) November 21, 2008

David Brooks of the New York Times and Bobos in Paradise fame on the social effect of the recession:

“Finally, they will suffer a drop in social capital. In times of recession, people spend more time at home. But this will be the first steep recession since the revolution in household formation. Nesting amongst an extended family rich in social capital is very different from nesting in a one-person household that is isolated from family and community bonds. People in the lower middle class have much higher divorce rates and many fewer community ties. For them, cocooning is more likely to be a perilous psychological spiral.”

What does this mean for the church?  Opportunity.  As recession hits, people who normally put their hope and trust in things like their bank accounts find that hope imperiled.  This lowers their guard, often, creating an opportunity for earnest, kind, Spirit-emboldened Christians to witness to the hope that lasts beyond any and all recessions, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This may not be the last great harvest of the church, as we Christians can sometimes think in moments of cultural crisis, but it may still be a season for powerful witness and declaration of hope.

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  • Owen, this is a good reminder for me as a pastor. Thanks for posting.

    My intro Sunday will be that I think FDR’s quote, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” is profoundly stupid. Rather, it is ours to hold out a true basis of hope.

  • owenstrachan

    Amen, Chris. Good words. Glad you appreciated the quotation. Hope the work goes well. Your book continues to bear good fruit in the circles I’m in.