Beyond Clichés

Becoming so heavenly minded that we are of some earthly good.

Ever Tried Making New Friends at Church?


Have you ever started going to a new church and “tried” making friends? Perhaps you’re one of the lucky few who’s never had to experience this process.

Or maybe you’re weird and actually enjoy attending groups where you know that the not-so-hidden-agenda is to “make friends”. Many of us would admit, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to make new friends at church. Acquaintances, yes – that’s easy – but friends, not so easy.


I’ve been thinking about this lately since I’ve been on my whole “relationship kick” and I’ve even had a couple conversations outside my head (you know, those real life ones?). I’ve discovered I’m not the only one who has the questions, “How are Christians supposed to form relationships in an organic way?” and “What does biblical community really look like?”

How do we go about making new friends at church?

Most of us would agree that relationships, especially with other believers, are a very important part of life. No question there. But how we go about making and maintaining those friendships can be complicated and confusing. As a result many never experience real authentic relationships and instead settle for casual friendships that center more around activities than around the relationship.

And even for those who understand how to form these authentic relationships there is the whole issue of time. Relationships take time and these days it seems just about everyone is short on this limited resource. I know I try to pack as much as I can into a day and most the time I have little left over for just “hanging out”.

Type A personalities and relationships

If you’re more of a type A person you know what I’m talking about. You want to accomplish goals. Get things done and then check them off the list. And if we’re not careful we’ll treat relationships the same way. We’ll pencil people in and make sure that when we’re hanging out we’re getting the most out of our time together. Because God wants us to be good stewards, right?

Sometimes it’s OK to just relax and do nothing but do it together. It’s much easier for me to write that statement than to put it into practice. But I really believe it’s true.

Have we forgotten how to enjoy one another’s company?

If we always gather around a curriculum, class or some project then we forget how to just enjoy one another’s company. And we do the same thing with God. We can study about Him, sing about Him and talk about Him but are we content with simply enjoying His presence? Does our prayer time always have to serve a “purpose” or are we OK wasting time by just being with our Father?

I think I’m part of an entire generation that’s starving for meaningful relationships. We want them but we don’t know exactly how to get them. And we don’t want a cheesy 12 week program to show us how. We want something authentic and organic. We crave this both with our relationship with God and with those around us.

Now, this would be the part where I give you, the reader, three ways to improve your relationships. But I’m not going to do that, sorry. I hope you don’t feel ripped off by reading this post. Really what I want to do today is stir your heart so that you start asking your own questions about relationships.

I will leave you with one verse to meditate on though:

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24 NKJV

About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.


  1. i like to be your friend i was a hindu and now i am born again christian nice to listen your testimony . thank you. God bless you.

  2. Our family has moved to a new state and started going to a local church. Our kids have adjusted well and made friends very quickly, but it seems difficult as adults. I have a hard time socially- knowing what to say to someone… and in the sunday school class we attended everyone introduced themselves to us and were friendly… but I’ve noticed that if you want a friend, you absolutely have to be a friend. What I mean by that is you have to put effort into it and not expect other people to do all of the work, show them that you would like friendship and if they reciprocate, awesome… if they don’t let it be okay and keep trying with other people. I think my struggle is the effort part feels like work and becomes emotionally draining. So, I’ve decided for now not to put pressure on myself to make friends, but to take my kids to the classes and when I start to feel lonely ask God for his peace. He will work it out. It shouldn’t be stressful, so if you see someone smile, and say hello… but don’t let it bother you if they are too busy or not interested in more conversation. Be patient. Pray about it. Stay thankful. It will happen….

    • Hi April, thanks for sharing. Sounds like you have a good perspective on this. Obviously this is a harder issue when you know you struggle socially. So I commend you on having the courage to try anyway. And you’re right, not everyone is interested in making new friends and I think it’s wise to know when to stop trying so hard. Personally, the best relationships I’ve formed in church happened organically, meaning they didn’t come through a “small group designed to make friends”. But usually it’s because I found something I have in common with another person (they have kids, they like to hike, they’re entrepreneurs, etc.).

  3. I think because I ended up as a middle aged unmarried woman, then friendships in the church became out of bounds – even as a younger woman – I only became accepted fully when I was going out with someone – suddenly seen as someone with potential. Without a boyfriend then I was a babysitter – someone who could be useful – but not really a friend. About three years ago I started going to a church – I was unemployed and lonely and I did go to find some friendship. But after two years that never happened. Everyone had their own groups and even though I did things for the church, no-one had room for another person outside the church environment. One person did express an interest in being a friend after I’d given her a lift home a couple of times – same age – similar circumstances – but she told me she was too busy then to form a friendship – but when she had time we could go out for a meal. It never happened. So when I had a really really bad week, there was no-one I could talk to about it – no-one to say – ‘will you pray with me’ or ‘will you listen to me’. So I stopped going – and no-one was really that bothered – bumped into someone who had missed me but it was a man – and it was not appropriate to pour out my concerns. I think part of the problem is that you are in if you visit the building – when you don’t visit the building – then you are out. Until we accept people in and out of the church environment, then church will just be an organisation – like work.

    • Hi Kez, I’m sorry to hear about your experience. I agree that many Christians aren’t good at leaving their relational comfort zones and embracing something, or someone, new. And yes, we must learn to accept people in and out of the church world. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. Following on – don’t get me wrong – I did go to worship God and grow in him. But as it says in Genesis – it is not good for man/woman to be alone. Going to a building and doing the communal thing isn’t enough. It irritates me when we are taught – God is all I need – no – because if that was the case – why the verse in Genesis. We need friendships – we need to know we are loved or supported by someone – not just the whole. And helping with things in the church – no – I didn’t expect to make friends with everyone – I just thought after two years I would have got to know a couple of people who I could call or visit. The only calls I got was could I help with something – all good – but I wanted that and more – it’s what I needed. I can be a Christian at home on my own with the onset of the internet – I can worship for three hours and read my bible – all the things going to church is about. Church should be more than worship and sermons and a meal or two added in. It should be about building up the whole person. Sadly the church does not do for the majority of people who attend – and if you are single, you end up just living a Christian life on your own – and it is more heartbreaking to be lonely in a crowd.


    Sometimes the one place in which we expect to feel accepted, appreciated, like we are a part of, that we long; is the place where we gather with others to worship. This comes easy for most. For me, wow, it’s like sending a man to the moon!

    I really do sincerely try but I still remain feeling like a ‘visitor’ rather than a part of the family of God. I am part of His family, maybe just not a part of the ‘Church Family’.I go to church alone because I am the only Christian in my home. This in itself makes it difficult but I don’t let it stop me. However being there alone on my own can really hurt at times even though I’ve done it this way for twenty years. It’s very sad and though I try hard each time to just block out everything else and focus on God, eventually the pang of ‘aloneness’ comes back to the surface.

    I KNOW that I am a child of God but I long to feel like I belong while here on earth. Don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

    Sometime, just sometimes it’s easier to find a friend in the world than in the Body of Christ. On one of the most recent occasions I felt a knot in my stomach even before getting to church because I knew that it being a special service on that day, everyone would be there with someone. Every year I keep praying and hoping it would change for me but it hasn’t just yet.

    So I got there, I kept praying to the Lord ‘Lord please help me not to feel alone, help to handle this without falling apart on the inside”.

    Well at the end of the service, everyone as usual was huddling and greeting someone.(If you are asking why I don’t be the one to mingle, believe me I try) . I kept my eyes closed thinking God if I opened my eyes, I would burst into tears…Well, I had to eventually leave so had to open my eyes!.. I left with a broken heart. I cried all the way home unable to brings words out of my mouth to the Lord.

    I won’t apologize for how I feel. I am only human and though I agree the root of the problem is within myself and not anyone else, it is a real battle and I just thought that being in church would help in some way to bring healing. There is a difference between being in church and being A PART of church. Tough difference I would say.

    I remember on my very first day of high school, I was so nervous because I didn’t know anyone. But once I got there, I realized hey, everyone here is new! So we were all in the same place! On the other hand, today, joining an existing group of people, being the new one, could be hard at first, but it should eventually become easier…..For me, this hasn’t happened and I still feel like the ‘new’ person, hard to fit in, to connect to belong. Maybe some day??? Maybe when some more years have passed and I have been there for a long time, maybe then I’d become part of the family???? I sure hope so.

    Until then, I am so thankful that God has opened wide His arms and accepted me. He hides me in His embrace because He alone understands my struggle. The good news is that throughout this, God is changing me, helping me, healing me and it is also strengthening my relationship with Him. I would like to believe that someday I would get to that place where I am fully content with God as my everything, but somehow I just don’t think God made us to be alone while on earth.

    I recently found out how many Christians go through this same struggle and oh how sad it is. But I am also relieved to know it isn’t just me.

    Everyone’s got their groups and cliques, and for now God’s got me.

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