Is it me, or does the church seems to be a bit unwelcoming?

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  • Is it me, or does the church seems to be a bit unwelcoming?

    My story is a bit all over the place. I was raised as a JW and stopped attending in 2012. I was very negative and a bit of a conspiracy guru.

    in 2014 I asked Jesus to be my God and saviour.

    I lived at home still but slowly starting attending diffrent Baptist Churches in my area. I live in BC Canada which I did already know is not a very strong Christian area.

    I started listening to modern Christian music and it gave me much faith.

    I found the churches to be casual, which was nice. people would say hello, give their name, and church pamphlet.

    I went to every Baptist church in ny town. I wanted fo get baptized but found it hard to make it happen. eventually a pastor tried to set it up, but i moved to another city a few hours away.

    my faith drifted and i made some dumb mistakes. however i was baptized in October 2015.

    I have gone to 2 churches in my city and now attend one fairly regularly.
    i have been in a young adults group which is starting to build some friendships but very slow.

    I would say people are friendly and greet you but it seems you are quickly forgotten.

    Talking to someone with a church role always seems to mean standing and waiting awkwardly until they finnish thier conversation, which can take a while,

    being a single guy (im 27) it seems like people just want to avoid me, or even seem like they think im strange or something.

    i know life is busy and sucks but it seems like getting to know anyone or be heard is nearly impossible.

    one pastor even said that we can be as "involved as we want to be" , but if noone is really engaging you what can you do?

    i know life Is super busy and stinks sometimes but it feels like church is pretty momentary escpecially for people like me trying to rebuild my life.

    i did not have the life most have had, and im pretty broken. it seems harder when no one seems to care or understand

    i also feel nervous to say what i really need prayers for since its so such a big topic. i am very broken and have lots of regrets.

    The Lord is faithful though. just wonder about the people some times

  • #2
    Hi Andy,

    Just dropping in to say hello! Welcome to CF.org.

    Hang in there brother, making new friends and cracking "inner circles" can be difficult. It shouldn't be, but they exists. Seems like you're doing what anyone else would do. Be persistent in speaking to an elder and sharing your reservations and obstacles. Perhaps this is something others in your congregation are dealing with too? You may also want to volunteer for something in the church, perhaps they are in need and this may be a good way to familiarize yourself with others?

    God bless,
    William
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    • #3
      Get involved to be involved. You will meet like minded folks and make friends. Then remember the new comers and be a welcomer. ;)
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      • #4
        "...getting to know anyone or be heard is nearly impossible."


        I feel the same way.

        I always gravitated towards people who are unusual or a bit odd. They seemed more genuine.

        The Christian life can be a lonely life with others but use it as time to walk/commune with the Lord.
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        • #5
          I had much the same experience back in Georgia. Things have been rough, and I can't afford gas to attend church lately. I hope you have enough trust in the Lord to hang in there until something clicks. Meanwhile, a good online forum like this can be a great place to meet good people, ask questions and hang out.
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          • #6
            It depends on the church. Unfortunately many church congregations have their own little social cliques, as inevitably crops up when any large number of people is in the same space, it seems. We should strive to not be that way, especially in a house of God where we're all there for (one hopes) the same reason, but it happens. Online forums can be great places to network and find likeminded people.
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            • #7
              Hang in there bro. I'm visiting too. We have visited a place for a few months now but have not really got connected so I'm praying about it but it's probably time to move on
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              • #8
                I was very involved in a Baptist Church for most of my young adulthood, and I think it is church in general that can be hard to get in the perverbial door. Churches are welcoming places and invite everyone in to praise God, bit just like other groups in life, it can be hard to work your way into a social group within the church.

                I do not think the Baptist Church itself is the problem because Christians want to be around other Christians, and church is more casual than it was half a century ago. It seems to me that Baptists are even more casual than other Christian groups, just from personal experience going to several different Christian churches in my life.

                As you attend church, you start to make friends with people and it is sometimes hard to let new people into your established group. Just like when you were in grade school. Keep working at it and eventually you will meet lasting friends.
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                • #9
                  It's good to hear from this thread of conversation that I'm not the only one feeling frustration trying to feel connected to a church. I'm in my upper 60's and have experienced a lot of 'stuff'. I was in a tiny church for a while feeling a 'home' atmosphere, but after a while felt it stifling. People were content to be small Not growing. I emailed the church I'd been going to years earlier in that same area and started there the 1st Sunday of January. A good way to start a new year in a growing church. But they had changed from 'traditional hymn' singing to strictly "Praise and worship" music. No more choir and no more organ. That was a challenge for me.

                  Yes, churches Have become more relaxed / casual. I've experienced most everything that has been shared so far. And I Have become a 'Welcomer" and that Does help. It's one Sunday morning a month. And I'm in a S. S. class. Getting connected That way is even challenging. There Seems to be a core group in the class, but even They come and go. I was just getting to know a couple of ladies and they haven't been back for a few weeks. (and, yes, I practice good hygiene) Seems that people are okay as acquaintances, but hesitate to get closer. Our church is in process of relocation in a different part of town. So people are in and out 'out of curiosity'. We also have a lot of classes and people are in one for a while and then another , to find a good 'fit'. So a person wonders what a 'good fit' Feels like.

                  What are 'we' really looking For in 'church'. Are we there to be fed spiritually? To make friends? To get involved in the church activities? All of the 'above'? Or that we've always gone to a certain denomination regardless because that's where our parents were?

                  And churches definitely have their groups. Cliques.

                  And, yes, 'everyone' is 'busy'. Are 'we' simply busy being busy? What is our business accomplishing.

                  Being in a mobile society has it's drawbacks. Lack Of connectedness.

                  So -- we connect on our international Forums. Like this one. And someday -- we'll get to know each other in heaven.

                  It Is encouraging to know that I'm not the only one feeling this way.
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                  • #10
                    It seems you want to get involved but you are probably putting the burden on others instead of you mostly making the effort to. You could get up and try to be more involved instead of watching and waiting for things to happen. Too much of a laid-back approach won't get you where you may want to be.
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                    • #11
                      I'm more of a 'natural-born, laid back person'. And with moving around a lot -- it's been hard To get involved. You kind of sound like my former counselor :)
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                      • #12
                        Sue, I really love what you said about trying to make it with a church. What you describe reflects my experience on a lot of levels. One thing I did discover is that when you can't connect with a church, it can make you really connect with the Lord, since there's nowhere else to turn. I also wonder if you are quite right in wondering if many people are "busy being busy". It never ceases to amaze me, for example, how many people are out shopping on a weekday afternoon. I think a lot of people are trying to fill their emptiness with busyness...

                        It isn't always easy to get to know people. Perseverance is a trait that is largely vanishing in our push-button culture, along with community. Oddly enough, a lot of people lament the lack of community, yet they seem hesitant to get to know others. Another thing I have noticed is that there is a lot of self doubt and self criticism among people in general. It's almost as if they're afraid that if someone else does something well that anything they tried to do doesn't count. Maybe that comes from watching too much sports on TV etc where there can be only one winner...

                        Kindness and encouragement are becoming lost arts, and society is suffering for that.

                        Finally, I found what explorerx7 said to be rather uninformed. Lonely people try very hard to fit in groups, but those who have achieved acceptance seem afraid to let the stranger in for fear of being pushed back out of the group. Love is a dying art...
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                        • #13
                          Hi Meg -- And I really like what You've shared. :)
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sue D. View Post
                            You kind of sound like my former counselor :)
                            Or a fortune cookie :rolleyes:

                            God bless,
                            William
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sue D. View Post
                              Hi Meg -- And I really like what You've shared. :)
                              Thanks :-)
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