At first I thought it was a weird question to ask. “How do I go to a new church alone?” Afterall, I’ve been attending church in some fashion since before I can remember and there’s no doubt I’ve spent more than half of my life dedicated to a congregation and participating in fellowship regularly. However, since my move from California to Florida only 2 months ago, I kinda found myself a little lost on the subject.
Yet, upon further investigation, and after reading several posts on the topic, I’ve found that while I may feel alone I’m not and after practicing these four “knows” I’ve began to feel less of a stranger and more of a member.
1. Know you Are not Alone
Starting out anywhere new such as a new school, beginning a new career, venturing into a new relationship or otherwise can be a bit challenging, pose many new questions, feel a slight awkward and perhaps, dare I say it, be somewhat uncomfortable. It’s normal! Know that at one point in time, just about everyone you see around you has gone through varying degrees of the same thing when they first began coming to that church. Breath, it’s nothing new.
2. Know You are Welcome
Unless the church you choose to attend is heartless and cold, in which case what are you doing there in the first place? The members of that church will be very gracious, kind, welcoming and delighted to see you. It’s easy to forget that the church is not the building you meet in, the church is made up of the body of Christ, that means people like you and I. A church that strives to see the body of Christ grow, thrive and function the way it is intended is elated to welcome a newcomer into its fold.
3. Get to Know Others
I felt out of place for a time in my early days of attending what is now my home church. It wasn’t until I stepped out and got involved that I began to feel like I wasn’t alone. By going to new members classes and attending functions I met newcomers just like myself and ones that had been involved with the church for years. As new members we could bond and find ease amongst one another because we were all going through the same “new person thing.” By connecting with members who had been there for a while I found a lot of useful information about the different ministries and activities the church offered. From there I began to get more involved and as time went on my circle grew. Now, I find myself surrounded by people who I no longer consider strangers but friends who will someday soon become more like family.
4. Know how to pass on the Love
Once you have become more comfortable and as your circles begin to grow and no longer feel stuck in that awkward place of feeling alone in a brand new world, remember to remember others who may be going through that phase that you previously passed through. Remember what it felt like and remember to be that friendly face, warm hug and inviting handshake someone once was towards you.