I’ve had to relocate many times recently and that meant leaving my friends and people I am familiar with. It also meant that each time I relocated, I had to find a new church.
Joining a new church can be hard for me. It is more than just deciding to start going there. Becoming a part of the family and not just sneaking out after benediction takes a lot of intentional effort. Everything is fine until the service closes, then I don’t know what to do with myself. Do I sit for a few minutes? Do I just pack my load and leave?
I realize that there are people like me who want to put effort into becoming a part of the church family, but there’s also the group of people who intentionally sneak out. As per, I came for God, I don’t want to mingle with people, I can do bad all by myself.
Well, whichever side you’re on, it is important to note that God desires for us to be part of the church family. Contrary to a lot of talks, the Christian walk is also communal, not just personal. Yes, there’s the need for us to have individual relationships with God. Yet, we need other family members to be accountable to, to submit to, to love, to honor; people who will spur us to good works and overall make our lives more beautiful on Earth. You’re going to have an eternity with these people so it’s best to start practicing now.
Say your superpower isn’t talking to strangers, how can you blend into a church and make them family?
- Stand up when they ask for first-timers. You do yourself a huge disservice when you don’t. Much more than it is for church records, it is for you also. You meet with other first-timers and the follow-up team. This way, you have the first set of people you can always say hi to when you’re in church.
- Say hi to your neighbor. I can see you rolling your eyes. Everyone keeps teasing Pastors on how they keep telling everyone to talk to their neighbors. My dear, sometimes they’re trying to help you. Even if your neighbor looks stuck up, interact with them. Smile, you’re going to be sitting next to each other for the next 2hours-ish so there’s nothing wrong with making each other more comfortable. If you’re not sure what to say, a good place to start is to give a compliment.
- Join a cell group. Almost every church has a cell structure of some sort. Whether it is called a house fellowship or a MAP group, there’s something. As churches get bigger, it’s easier to get lost in the crowd. So, these groups help with bonding and mentoring. As much as you’ll make friends, it allows you to also make progress.
- Join a service unit. It’s almost impossible to be on your own in a service unit. You’ll have to work with people.
- Tell the pastor that you’re new. If nothing is working, walk up to the pastor. If you’re like me, you’ll need to prepare your mind and write a mental speech, but chances are that the pastor doesn’t bite and they’ll be more than willing to link you up with someone.
- Ask someone to take a picture of you. This is a sure one. You’ve come to church, I know that you’ve not left your house all week. Or maybe you have, but your entire schedule has revolved around work and nothing around your church family. Instead of rushing home, ask a random person to take a picture of you. Even better, ask them to take a picture with you. That way, you can ask for their name. Or if you want to be extra, ask if they could take a picture of you with their phone, then they’ll need your number to send it to you. Sleek huh? 🌚.
- Bring your friends from outside. Laslas you won’t faint.
- Pray about it. Don’t undermine the place of prayer. One of my most treasured relationships was birthed because I said a prayer before going to church. God wants to help you build relationships with other members of the family. He is so willing to set things up for you.
It is important to note that you don’t need to change your personality but you can be more intentional about being friends with your family. It may appear like a non-natural thing for you to do and you may not feel like it but a lot of times, necessity trumps feelings.You need not change your personality but you can be more intentional about being friends with your church family. It may appear like a non-natural thing for you to do and you may not feel like it but, necessity trumps feelings. Click To Tweet If you’ve been in church for a while, keep your eyes open for those who are new and are on their own. It's also your responsibility to help them ease into the family. Don't just be with your clique, bring others in. Click To Tweet
Also, if you’ve been in church for a while, keep your eyes open for those who are new and are on their own. It’s your responsibility to help them ease into the family. Don’t just be with your clique, bring others in.Christianity is a big familiar bond, it involves a relationship with both God and man. So, we must keep being intentional that as our walk with God flourishes, so does the one with man. Click To Tweet
Christianity is a big familial bond, that involves a relationship with both God and man. So, we must keep being intentional so that our walk with other humans flourishes just as much as our walk with God.