For 20 years, I went to the same church. I knew everybody and everybody knew me.
People would sometimes say that getting to know people was hard and I would be confused because I had never known that to be true.
But one day, all that changed.
About 4 years ago, my husband and I moved from one end of the country to the other. We had no choice but to go to a new church. Among some annoying church trends, I discovered that making friends at a new church can be hard.
My husband and I worked at friendship and can now say that we have many close friends.
If you are at a new church, or at a church and have not made friends yet, here are 7 tips to help you make friends at a new church.
7 Ways To Make Friends at Church
Proverbs is a book of wisdom. In it, we find the secret to make friends at a new church,
A man who has friends must himself be friendly… Proverbs 18:24A NKJV
To make friends, one must be friendly. It might sound simple, but one way to be friendly is to say hello.
At church, there are many opportunities to say hello. This might be during the service where you are asked to turn round and greet each other, or it might be before or free the service.
When trying to make friends at a new church, saying hello is the first step.
Start with people in your demographics
When we first moved to our new city, I was 7 months pregnant with a 3 year old. The first place I made friends was in the nursery taking care of my baby. The church we go to had many people in the same stage as we were in, and it was an easy way to relate.
Friendship usually starts over a shared experience. Bonding over children, or work or your stage will help you connect to people quickly.
Go to events
Most churches have events going on throughout the week.
One easy way to get to know people is to pick some events and go to them regularly.
Just by going, people will start recognizing your face and will greet you and want to get to know you.
Some of these events may be bible studies, or children’s programs. If your church does not have any events, maybe they need you to plan one.
Sharing a meal has a great way of bringing people together.
One way to get to know people better is by having people over for a meal.
My husband and I would open the church directory and pick a family or person to invite over for a meal.
Over the years, we have had many people over. Some of these people have turned into close friends.
Maybe you go to a church that does not have anybody your age. If that is the case, don’t neglect people who are not your age or in your stage.
In university, my mother started a weekly seniors lunch. I would go every week to help out. It was the highlight of my week and I got to know many of the elderly people in our church. I counted many of them as close friends.
Don’t give up
My husband and I reached out to a few people we thought would be close friends. But due to busy lives and schedule conflicts, some of those lose friendships never materialized. It’s not that those people were not nice or not willing, but they were already living a full life and at the time, did not have time to commit to more.
Instead of being hurt and shutting down when we tried to make friends at church, we moved on. My husband and I just found other people to reach out to and tried again.
Friendship comes with trial and error. It might not happen right away or with the first people you get to know. But if you keep trying, eventually you will find the type of friendships you are looking for.
Making deep and lasting friendships takes time.
It’s important to be realistic and know that deep friendships take time and effort. Lasting relationships don’t happen overnight.
If you take the time and effort to put yourself out there and keep attempting to make new friends at church, you will find yourself with close friends soon enough.
I hope that by following these tips, you will be encouraged and will develop deep and lasting friendships.