So many people – good people – church people – Christians – stop coming to Bible class. Many stop attending special activities of the congregation. Eventually, some even stop assembling for worship. Why? Where are they? (Where are you? if you fall into this category.) I am sure there are hundreds of reasons why. I discussed this in one of my early blogs – Why are Members Exiting Churches? – however, there is one “reason” I regularly hear from those who stop attending – “I don’t have any friends (know anyone) there.” I can take care of this reason for you with two suggestions. One to the church and one to you . . .
Church – listen up! People want to be with friends. We can help! We can have scheduled and impromptu gatherings at the building, in homes, in parks, etc. where Christians and their friends get together for fun friendly fellowship. We can reach out to our guests and include them in our conversations. We can introduce them to others at our assemblies and help them form acquaintances that can develop into friendships. We can make all of our gatherings a welcoming event. This means we may have to catch-up with those we normally see at a later day. That is why we have cellphones and internet.
Guests and those who say you are not attending for lack of friends. Let me be as kind and understanding as possible and say compassionately, “Try and make some friends.” Someone I know was a guest a congregation while on vacation. He could not believe how unfriendly the people he sat near were. They did not speak to him, they barely acknowledged his presence. Finally, he decided to introduce himself and force them into friendliness. When he did, they seemed relieved, and stated so. They were guests as well and thought he was an unfriendly member. Here is the point. Don’t walk in late and leave early. Be here long enough for people to have an opportunity to meet you. Where we worship there are folks at the building 30 minutes before assembly and some stay nearly an hour after having conversations and sometimes walking the parking lot for exercise. Come join us!