Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Free

Finding Community Outside of Religion

With participation in organized religion on the decline, more young people seek community at the workplace, in fitness classes, and through social causes.

7
Author Image
Contributing Writer
SHARE:

I recently received an email from a friend inviting me to a gathering with 10 other guys to talk about what it means to be a man today. The invitation explained why he was calling this group together:

“There was a gap in my life for a place to come together specifically to be challenged, influenced, and learn from a trusted source about issues that were the most meaningful to me in my life as a masculine, ambitious, spiritual man. As we grow and are introspective, I believe sharing our knowledge between like-minded individuals is necessary and can only bring us more peace and success. I’m always a fan of anything about which I can say, “If I do this, my life will only be better.”

I do not receive emails like this every day. It was heartfelt and it resonated not only with me but also with much of my broader research on what people are craving in their lives today.

I have spent the last eight years researching and talking with people who are building careers at the intersection of purpose and money, and in a simple email my friend had captured an important element of what we all want: community.

Rutgers University, in partnership with the non-profit organization Net Impact, produced a research report entitled “What Workers Want in 2012” that captured this transforming sentiment in our workplaces. The report found that 87% of college students ranked the ability to grow personally as very important in their next workplace.

Workplaces are adapting to this need. They ensure both purpose and growth by providing people avenues to gather and find likeminded communities. Companies such as Eli Lilly have pioneered the idea of affinity groups where, within large companies, employees are encouraged to self-organize into groups around a shared interest. There are LGBT affinity groups, new mother affinity groups, and cultural affinity groups. These groups provide employees a chance to advocate for their specific interests and even more importantly connect with each other and tap into that deeper sense of purpose and meaning from common interest.

Purpose finding and self-development are natural extensions of the regular meeting of like-minded people. The need for this type of gathering and personal development is a fundamentally human one that has historically always had a role in our life. In the past the need had been fulfilled by organized religion. Our community center was the church while the counselor, the pastor, and the congregation were our accountability partners.

The backdrop on how we address these needs is evidently changing. In the report “’Nones’ on the Rise,” the Pew Research Center documents this shifting backdrop and explores the fast growing segment of 46 million Americans who identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated. The rate of growth has been increasing at a substantial pace with one-third of those under 29 years old claiming to be unaffiliated. As this move from religious to unaffiliated grows, we are losing the place that we originally turned to for personal development, growth, purpose, and meaning and are now seeking new options in both our workplace and our life.

In the report “How We Gather,” Casper ter Kuile and Angie Thurston explain the shift in backdrop does not mean that desires of a new generation are changing. “When they say they are not looking for a faith community, millennials might mean they are not interested in belonging to an institution with religious creed as the threshold. However, they are decidedly looking for spirituality and community in combination, and feel they can’t lead a meaningful life without it.”

Kuile and Thurston map out a new group of companies and organizations that fill this need. The response is coming from a diverse set of companies and organizations beyond workplaces.

Exercise communities like SoulCycle and CrossFit are among a new wave of businesses. Classes have become journeys and cathartic workouts have become invitations to heal. A new generation of exercise class specializes in filling the need that people have for accountability, for partners, for community, and for personal transformation. Individuals come together and make public commitments to changing their body, mind, and spirit. They are held accountable and develop a shared language and often “evangelical enthusiasm.”

“How to Gather” categorizes the types of services these new communities provide into six different areas: community, personal transformation, social transformation, purpose finding, creativity, and accountability.

What connects this diverse range of companies and organizations is the fact that they are all addressing a need to humanize and connect with one another—something that may be lost in the non-religious and increasingly digital age.

The human needs to grow, learn, and gather are strong and alive. Without organized religion we still turn to each other and find new ways to do so. We find each other in exercise classes, classrooms, and around dinner tables.  As this shift happens and more companies and organizations rise in response to this challenge, important questions will be answered about how commerce, class, and race intersect with one’s ability to pursue and access these new organizations and classes.

But for now, together, we continue to grow and learn. Whether it is through evangelical exercise, tackling social issues with an affinity group, or coming together with a group of guys to talk about the real issues, the backdrop before which we gather shifts but the experience and the human relationships remain the same.

By

SHARE:

Comments (0)

An Expert Guide to Crow Pose

Download Sonima’s comprehensive guide to this exciting “reach” posture and enjoy the benefits of expert instruction at home!

Get the Guide

Load More

Find us on Instagram

@LIVESONIMA
  • Are you eating enough to support your workout? 
Some indications that that you need to consume more calories are: 
1. Post-workout fatigue
2. Low immunity
3. Recurring sports injuries
4. Waning motivation
5. Disrupted sleep
6. Weight gain
7.  Irregular menstrual cycle

Learn more about fitness and nutrition in the article linked in our bio! 💗
.
.
.
.
.
#wednesdaywisdom #wednesdaymotivation 
#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife #runningtips #runningtips101 #fitnesstime #fitnesstransformation #workouttips #workouttipoftheday #highintensitytraining #lowimpactworkout
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #createbalance #fitnessgoals #healthgoals
  • Is your breathing pattern normal? 
Are you experiencing dysfunctional breathing habits? 
Abnormal breathing patterns can compromise health and performance, which may result in physical effects such as asthma, anxiety, stress, panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, other phobias, hyperthyroidism, migraine, chronic inflammatory joint disease with chronic pain, and more.

Discover a few key techniques for taking control of your airflow and using it to perform your best in every situation when you read the article linked in our bio! .
.
.
.
.
.
#pranayama #breathingexercises #breathingtechniques #breathingtreatment #breathe #breath 
#mondaymotivation #mondaymeditation #mondayquotes #motivationmonday #lifeisbeautiful #choosehappiness #attitudequotes #attitudeofgratitude #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices #createbalance #createhealthyhabits
  • After watching our most recent IGTV episode of ‘Ask Harmony’ you might be wondering “What is Ayurveda and how can it improve your health?” .
In this article, Ayurvedic healer Katie Silcox, explains how this ancient approach to nutrition and healing can help you find balance no matter where you are living or how hectic your schedule may be. .

Follow our bio link to read more! .

@katiesilcox_shaktischool .
.
.
.
.
.
.
Photo by @fokuscreations 
#ayurveda #ayurvedalifestyle #ayurvedafood #ayurvedicmedicine #ayurvediccooking #ayurvedalife #ayurvedaeveryday #ayurvedayoga #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #yogicdiet #yogadiet #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife 
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #balancediet #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #brainhealth #mindbodyconnection
  • . .
Coffee aggravates both vata and pitta doshas and can act as a digestive irritant and adrenal stimulant. 
In excess it can cause problems such as: gastric ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, adrenal 
exhaustion, chronic fatigue, insomnia, panic disorders, anxiety and irritability. 
People with high pitta (fire and water) or high vata (air and ether) in their constitutions, should either avoid it completely or be very cautious in their consumption. 
However, coffee can be somewhat balancing for people with a kapha (water and earth) constitution. Coffee’s hot, dry, stimulating qualities counterbalance the  heavy, wet, sluggish qualities present in the kapha dosha. 
Some good alternatives for vata and pitta types can be warm lemon water, ginger tea or coriander tea.
  • “If we can learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” .
— Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl, in Shanksville, PA
.

Photo compliments of the very talented New Jersey Photographer Alex C. • @captiv_8 “Lighting towards the heavens” .
.
.
.
.
#911anniversary #911neverforget #911legendsneverdie #september11 #911tribute #911memorial #neverforget #remembering911 #mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #twintowers #lovewins #standtogether #strongertogether #loveoverhate #loveoverfear
  • Some fats are far better for you than others, but what are the best sources of them and how can we incorporate these foods into our diets?
🧀

Find out by reading the article linked in our bio. .
.
.
.
.
#dietplan #keto #ketodiet #fatisfuel #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #yogicdiet #yogadiet #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife 
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #balancediet #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #brainhealth #mindbodyconnection #goodfats #healthyfats
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!