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It’s hard getting connected at church.
You’re coming in as the new person while everyone else has already formed connections. In the past, I was under the impression I didn’t have to put forth a lot of effort to be connected and have fellowship. But that’s not true.
Sure, people at church should greet new people and be welcoming. But that doesn’t mean the effort relies solely on them. You have a part as well.
I used to attend churches for 6 months at a time wondering why I still felt lonely. I had no friends at church and no true godly community in my life. I’m not going to lie – I thought it was other people. Surely, they were the problem. Or so I thought.
But it kept happening and I realized something. I was the common denominator in this issue. I wasn’t really trying to get to know people. I wasn’t reaching out to others. I wasn’t attending various events that cultivate fellowship.
I realized I had a part in being connected at church. It’s my responsibility to make sure I have godly friends. Not anyone else’s. I wasn’t going to make friends by staying home and not reaching out to others. I have to take action. Once I understood that, things started changing.
Keep reading to learn how to build a strong church community and get connected.
What does the Bible say about friendships?
First, let’s take a look at what the Bible says about making friends.
Here’s what the Bible says about friendships:
- Proverbs 18:24 – “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” (ESV).
- John 15:12-13 – “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends,” (ESV).
- Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity,” (ESV).
- Job 42:10 – “And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before,” (ESV).
- Psalms 133:1 – “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (ESV).
- Proverbs 17:9 – “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends,” (ESV).
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 – “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (ESV).
- Galatians 6:2 – “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” (ESV).
Godly Friendships in the Bible
There are several examples of godly friendships in the Bible. I’ll highlight one of these friendships.
One example of a godly friendship is between Jonathan and David. In 1 Samuel 20, we read about David going to Jonathon to inquire about his father, Saul. Saul has been pursuing David and trying to kill him. Jonathon takes an oath to test his fathers intentions. He finds out his father does want to kill David.
After Jonathon informs David of his fathers intentions, this is how the two react:
“David rose from beside the stone heap and fell on his face to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed one another and wept with one another, David weeping the most. Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’” And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city,” (1 Samuel 20:41-42 ESV).
This demonstrates how much David and Jonathon loved and remained loyal to one another. It was a sweet and godly friendship.
Importance of Godly Friends
Godly friends are important. God didn’t create us to be alone but to have each other. We need each other.
Here are a few characteristics of a good friend according to the bible:
- Godly friends sharpen you (Proverbs 27:17),
- truly love you (John 15:12),
- keep you accountable (Galatians 6:1-2),
- and are there for you during tough times (Galatians 6:2).
Does God want us to be friends with everyone?
I hate to admit this, but when I was a new believer, I was under the impression I had to be friends with everyone.
I thought it was the Christian thing to do. Later on, I learned God doesn’t require us to be friends with everyone. In fact, being friends with everyone is impossible.
The Bible says, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” (Proverbs 18:24 ESV).
Being friends with many people burns you out. You’re not able to fully know and be there for your friends as much as if you were more selective.
Also, there are times where you can’t be friends with someone because they’re not healthy to be around. God doesn’t want us to be friends with abusive and/or unsafe people.
If you’re interested in learning more about healthy friendships, I recommend Safe People by Henry Cloud.
How to Make Friends at Church
You’ve seen the importance of godly friends. Here’s how to make godly friends at church.
Pray to God About Making Friends
First, start off with prayer. God is the one who is in control of everything. If it’s within his will, he will provide in his timing.
Sample Prayer About Making Friends
Praying to God about making friends doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be really simple.
Here’s a sample prayer about making friends:
Thank you for the life you’ve given me. If it’s your will, I pray you’d bring godly friends alongside me. Your word says it’s not good to be alone. We were created to be relational beings. Please highlight some people you’d like me to be friends with at church. Make it known who you’d like me to pursue a friendship with. Give me the discernment to know the difference between godly and ungodly friends. I pray these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Get Involved in Various Church Events
You’ve prayed about it, so you must be all set, right? Wrong! Of course, God can and will provide in his timing. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You won’t magically have a friend waiting for you at your front door.
A good way to make a friend is to get involved in church events. When you go to these events, you meet new people. Greet people and get to know them. You’ll start to notice who you vibe well with. Going to these events also allows others to get to know you better.
Ask Someone if They’d Like to Grab Coffee
Once you’ve gotten more acquainted with others, choose a few people you’d like to ask out for a cup of coffee. If you’re in need of friends, I challenge you to ask one girl to hang out with per week.
Once you ask these girls out for coffee, prepare with a few questions you’d like to ask to get to know them. A few questions you could ask are:
- What’s your testimony?
- What have you been learning in this season?
- What’s God teaching you right now?
- How’s your week been?
- Who are your closest friends?
If the conversation ever reaches a lull, ask a question such as these. It helps revive the conversation and helps you get to know the person better. One last note – follow up with the girls you ask to hang out. Ask them out for coffee again in a couple of weeks. Friendships won’t form by only meeting once or twice. There needs to be consistency.
Making friends isn’t easy but it’s very worth it. Putting in the effort now will help you reap the benefits later. You won’t regret investing in a godly friend.