If you’ve ever been the new kid at church you know the queasy feeling. It’s uneasy. Uncomfortable. Your hands get sweaty and maybe a little shaky. This feeling makes us close off and try to be invisible. How does a person overcome this feeling and make friends at church?
Even if you’re not a naturally social person, making friends at church is worth the added effort for your personal and spiritual growth, as well as the strengthening of your church or Christian community.
It’s important to build relationships in Christian community for more reasons than even friendship.
For example, in Hebrews 10:24-25 the Bible says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
In order to spur one another on toward love and good deeds we must be spending time together as friends at church and throughout our lives.
Here are some suggestions for making friends at church. Remember, while not every church member will be quick to make a new friend, if you’re at loving church most people will welcome you.
1. Take the initiative
While it’s easy to sit back and think, “If you don’t care enough to talk to me then I’m not talking to you,” that’s a very selfish approach to community and won’t win you many friends.
Instead, try taking the initiative and saying hello with a smile. Chances are the other person was either preoccupied or just as nervous as you were.
2. Show up early and stay late
Our church services start at the top of the hour and I can’t tell you often I hear the door click after we start. Many people show up just in time or within the first ten minutes, then when church is over they walk straight out to their cars.
While that may make church more efficiently fit your weekend schedule, it does not help you make friends at church or grow relationships.
Instead, try arriving at least 15 minutes before the service. Most churches offer coffee and donuts or something like that. It will give you an opportunity to mingle and become a more familiar face to staff and volunteers.
Do the same after church. You’ll be surprised how many friendships organically develop.
3. Get involved
If you want church to be easy and only a place you visit each week to get fed spiritually, making friends will be slow.
To speed up the process you can join a team of volunteers!
Most churches rely on a lot of volunteers to run their weekend services. By finding a place to serve you’ll be joining a team you can work beside and get to know. Those people can become your church friend base.
Where should you get involved? Mostly we think of preaching, teaching, or music as church involvement. Truth is, those are specific gifts and talents that most people just don’t have. That’s okay.
Search for ways to serve how God designed YOU. Some examples would be tech booth, church website/blog/social, hospitality, refreshments, nursery helper, kids teacher aid, games or crafts, cleaning, bookkeeping, landscaping, etc.
The list could go on and on.
Now go make friends at church!
Building church community is an important step for any believer. We are never supposed to live the Christian life by ourselves.
Looking for a kid-friendly church in Punxsutawney?
We’ve got you covered! Take a minute to meet our Children’s Director, Kate Cressley!
She’d love to get to know your kiddos!