I love the church. I love the people. I love the singing, but most of all I love learning more about the Lord.
Sometimes though…okay, a lot of the time…church is a lonely place, and I don’t believe that I’m the only person who feels that way.
We walk into the church building on Sundays, wave to someone, hug somebody else, and then head to “our” pew and sit down. We sing, we pray, and we listen. Then the service is over. We get up. Maybe stop and talk to someone on our way out. Then we head out to our cars.
And as we leave, there is an aching in us, emptiness. This is a feeling that we don’t want to admit to because after all we just left church. We shouldn’t be feeling empty. We shouldn’t be feeling lonely. We deny it, but it is still there.
We think we should leave our worship serves and be filling full, filling satisfied, ready to take on a new week and face whatever comes with the Lord by our side.
And so when we leave the church service feeling empty, we deny it. We don’t want to admit that something is wrong.
You don’t leave hurt. You don’t leave angry.
You just leave with a longing for connection, a longing to be a part of something.
A place to belong
Just to be a part of something
Instead we leave feeling disconnected and lonely.
The start of another week
Nothing has changed
The church is supposed to be a place of connection and community, not a place of loneliness and disconnection.
How can we change it? What do we need to do to make the change?
1) Take responsibility. Don’t blame others for the way you are feeling. Take responsibility for it and determine to make the change. It starts with you.
2) Make a habit to talk to 3 new people every time you show up. Don’t wait for people to introduce themselves to you. Go up to them and introduce yourself. Spend some time getting to know them.
3) Go one step further…Invite someone you just met out to lunch.
4) Join the greeter’s team. It is a great way to meet new people.
5) Go to Sunday school. Or get involved in a mid-week Bible study. Getting involved with a small group is a great way to meet new people and build a sense of community within the church.
6) Volunteer to lead a small group or volunteer with one of the church’s outreach programs.
7) Find a mentor. Find someone you trust to meet with on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis to help you be accountable and to discuss the hard issues with.
8) Be a mentor.
Remember: It starts with you.
If we want to change the church and make it less of a lonely place, the change starts with us. We have to be the change.
So here is your challenge for the week: Think of somebody in the church that you would like to get to know better and invite them to lunch next week.