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Why can’t I make friends at church?

By: lauren hamby

As a teacher, my coworkers are my family. I see them five days a week — morning duty, classes, lunch, recess, and all those after school meetings. We have so many shared experiences, we have built a camaraderie. This is true of many jobs; this community in the workplace is vital and happens after working together over time.

Community in the workplace is great, but if we’re honest, many of us feel more connected to our coworkers than the people we share a row with at church. It seems like a paradox. There’s reason for that. Shared experience creates a bond that few other things can.

A team of eighth-grade teachers is far more intimate than a gathering of an entire faculty. Teams make a large school feel small. The same is true in the church. It can be intimidating to walk into a large auditorium full of people, but the church is much more than a Sunday meeting. A large church feels small when members join groups and get plugged in. Community is built in these smaller gatherings based on shared experiences.

This isn’t just a school idea or a NewSpring idea, either. It’s rooted in Scripture.

What We Can Learn About Finding Community from Great Friendships in the Bible

Some of the best examples of friendship and community in the Bible are rooted in shared faith and shared experience. Think about people like Ruth and Naomi. Naomi lost her husband and sons. In a time when most would feel lonely and abandoned, Ruth was a loyal friend (Ruth 1:1-18). Similarly, the disciples had the shared experience of time with Jesus, the pain of His subsequent death, and the joy of His resurrection (John 16:16-33, John 20:1-29). They lost the physical presence of their best friend and leader, but they continued in ministry together. The Bible shows that community is a byproduct of co-laboring.

How You Can Make Friends At Church

Shared faith and shared experiences create relationships. If you want to make a big church seem small, find community, and form authentic friendships, be intentional about getting involved. Community sounds great and is desired by most, but it doesn’t just happen innately. We have to be intentional about taking our next step.

Our sense of connection to the church grows when we move from watching a service near someone to serving and laboring alongside them.

To find the same community at church that I have at work, I got plugged in to serving and a NewSpring Group. Our sense of connection to the church grows when we move from watching a service near someone to serving and laboring alongside them. Groups provide fellowship ripe with encouragement and accountability. We move from saying, “Hi,” to sharing life.

If you are looking for great community, consider finding your people in a NewSpring Group or by getting plugged in to serving.

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