Font Size » Large | SmallThanks to always-on wireless Internet connectivity and bigger, better TVs that reproduce pixel-perfect high-definition video, cocooning is entering a new evolutionary stage. Consumers are staying home more, watching movies delivered via cable, satellite, Internet or disc, eating in and transforming their apartments and houses into a shelter from the daily social storm. This new level of super-cocooning is affecting Hollywood, professional sports, and restaurants across the U.S. “Everybody is nervous, really nervous,” says trend forecaster Faith Popcorn, who coined the term “cocooning” in 1981. “I think we are looking for protection. Almost like the Jetsons, we want to walk around in a little bubble. We are moving toward that.” – Mike Snider, USA TODAY, February 17, 2013 Super-cocooning is also affecting churches. The comfort of the home bubble with all its private connections to the outside is making it convenient to shrink our personal worlds, our circles of acquaintances, commitments to schedules, and the size of our hearts. We see so much pain, war, and crisis in the world that we become numb to it all. It can be overwhelming, and besides, what could we possibly do about it? It is all outside the walls of our private worlds. We can become like the main character in a science fiction movie where unconscionable things occur outside while the character remains secure behind his or her force shield. We become less informed, less aware, and unintentionally, less concerned. We compartmentalize. Some people apocalyptically conclude that since the world is such a mess and Jesus will soon say, “Enough!” we should just keep ourselves and our families safe from harm’s way. “It is all coming to a head soon. We will soon be out of here.” Cocooning can be attractive. Comfort, safety, home entertainment, and private connections seemingly give us all we need. Life is increasingly full, so withdrawing to a more insulated, although Christian, world seems like a viable and reasonable response. There is just one problem with cocooning – it does not please God. Everything about His Word declares that we are to engage our world, not withdraw from it. Our highest command is to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love our neighbor as ourselves. Love must be activated (Luke 10:27). We are to go and make disciples on a global scale (Matthew 28:19-20). We are to faithfully meet with fellow believers to both encourage and be encouraged (Hebrews 10:25). We are to compassionately love our enemies and do good for and pray for people who hurt us (Luke 6:27-36). We are to be generous in providing assistance to others (2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15). Open Bible’s Mission Venture Plan provides an anti-cocoon vehicle for loving, redemptive action. We link shoulder to shoulder with USA missionaries (church planters) and global missionaries to love our neighbors and make disciples. As we do so, we encourage others and discover fresh encouragement in our hearts. We do not allow the works of the enemy to cause us to withdraw from loving people, doing good, and praying for them. MVP provides a dedicated funnel through which we can be generous with our support. Discipling the nations is not an option; it is our mandate and responsibility. It is also our privilege. For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9, NLT). Whether you give through your church or directly through www.missionventureplan.org, MVP is ready to help you show the goodness of God to others.