Thursday, November 20, 2014

Slowly Getting Settled

I'm slowly getting settled in here.  It still doesn't seem like I'm living in a new location - only feels like I'm just visiting or something.  I hope that once I get a full-time job and make friends and go places with friends, then maybe it will feel like home.

Church is difficult in some ways. I go with my fiance (and his son who plays in the worship band) and sit with him.  A lot of the time we sit with friends of his, a couple who are about ten years older than us.  They are great.  My fiance has also introduced me to some others in the church (mostly this was in the summer when I was here and I don't remember who they were or what they looked like), but no one, aside from the couple that we sit with, has ever come up to me to find out who I am or invite me to coffee or to join a small group, etc.

The church (not just the one I'm attending, but many) talks about bringing in new people, creating disciples, and that's great.  But what about the newcomers who are already disciples? Don't we count?  Aren't we worth getting to know and befriending?  I think it's important that when new people come to the church, the body should be making them feel welcomed and connected.  I don't find that happening much - at least with me.  The two previous churches prior to the one I am now attending was also the same way. And it wasn't just me who experienced it.  My best friend and her daughter had the same thing happen to them at those other two churches.

I do know there are some newcomers at my current church who have been made to feel welcome, who have been invited for coffee and to join a small group. So why has no one done this to/for me?  Is it because the majority of the people attending this church are in their 20s and I'm in my mid 40s?  Do they think I'm too old to be friends with?  I do know there are some others in the congregation who are closer to my age, but none of them have approached me either.

I'm a shy introvert.  It's hard for me to make friends.  I find it very difficult to approach people and make small talk, get phone numbers, call them, invite them for coffee, etc.  It makes me feel almost sick to have to do this, so when other approach me, it makes things a lot easier for me.

Do I have to step out of my comfort zone and approach others since no one is willing to approach me? Maybe, but I honestly don't think that newcomers to a church should have to be the ones approaching church members.  I think it's up to the members to seek out the newbies and make them feel welcome (sure I've had a few people smile and/or say hi, but that's it).  At the very least,  I think the pastors should be doing this - helping newcomers to make connections with people in similar situations.

Anyway, enough of that.  I know I'll get over this and eventually make friends and feel comfortable in this new city.  So far, though, I enjoy the city itself.  Much bigger than the last place I lived, and I definitely like that!

My question to you - how do you make friends? Are you willing to be the one in your church to approach newcomers and befriend them or lead them to people they can connect with?