The Awkward Visitor10/23/2012 - Author: Jennifer - 4 Comments
Have you ever been the new person? Have you ever felt like the awkward visitor? Do you know what I a talking about? When you drop off your kids in the nursery at a new church and nobody says anything outside of what is necessary. They will make necessary introductions and help you get settled in, but that is it. It feels as if they are trying to catch up with their friends because there isn’t enough time to do it during the week. There has been ONE time that someone has gone out of her way, above and beyond, to help us out at a church.
My husband and I have been back around the area where we grew up 4 years now and you know what? I am just now starting to feel less awkward. I really thought we would make connections, but honestly, I think everyone seems like they are already established with friends and there is no room to grow their “social circle”. We have been blessed with one set of friends since being here (and we are VERY grateful for them). Finally, I have happy news.
I have since found a MOPS group that is fabulous! Our fearless leader Kris Camealy and her team is amazing. I look forward to our meetings twice a month with this great group of moms. We all have different backgrounds and a few are working on speaking English, but they all bless me. I feel as if the common bond of motherhood is all we have in common, but it is enough. I am not kidding when I say this has been a breath of fresh air.
Another place I am finding community is a ladies Bible Study that Rachel Wojnarowski leads. We are finishing Unglued and will start up again in the winter. I love that we all come from various churches around the area. They have been so welcoming and open — another breath of fresh air.
The best thing about these groups of ladies–they have made me feel so welcomed, and not like an awkward visitor. They are such a blessing to me and I hope to be a blessing to them!
This has been such a wake-up call for me! We need to be intentional with welcoming people. I can catch up with a friend by phone, social media, or even over coffee (my personal favorite). We need to go out of our way, step out of our comfort zone, to try to let visitors know they are welcomed — especially in church. It is because of that one person that I mentioned earlier that my family has continued to come back to the church we are attending.
What else can we do? Honestly, I am not a shy person so I didn’t think it would be hard to make connections. I don’t know what to tell the introvert. Any advice on how to help an introvert is welcomed here. I do not find it difficult at all to go new places and meet new people. I LOVE doing it!!
As a visitor, if you feel like you found a church that you can grow, learn, and make connections, then I say try and start conversations with other Church members. Or, find a ministry that you can get involved in. I think that most churches have pastors that would like to meet with you and help you get connected. But, we have to do our part too. It may not be after the first visit or even a few visits, but listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. I guarantee, He wants to help you find a church home.
Prayer requests–to make more friends–feel like part of a community. For my husband to make more friends. For us to be a blessing to others and of course, make new people feel welcomed.