I am lonely and am having a hard time making friends at church. How can I connect?
Thank you for contacting BibleAsk.
Sadly, it is a common issue that people have a difficult time making friends at church. While others at church may be genuinely nice people, they may not always be as friendly or inclusive as we might hope for.
While the Bible does state that believers should be loving (Romans 12:10), it is important to remember that also includes ourselves. One of the biggest parts of being loving is also being patient (1 Thessalonians 5:14). It is important to understand other people’s perspective when trying to win new friends, as they may not even be aware that they are being exclusive or may be going through their own difficulties as well.
It is important that during times of loneliness you draw nearer to God who is the greatest and most dependable companion (Isaiah 49:15-16). Jesus loves and accepts you whenever you come to Him (Romans 8:35-39, John 6:37) and calls us His friends (John 15:14). He promises to never leave us nor forsake us, which means we are never alone (Hebrews 13:5).
The Bible offers some advice on making friends which we hope is both encouraging and helpful.
Be friendly (Proverbs 18:24). If we want to have friends, we must become the kind of friend we want to have. Things like smiling, greeting and initiating in happy conversation on a familiar topic go a long way.
…But not too friendly (Proverbs 27:14). It is important that when we try to make new friends, we don’t be too aggressive with the other person. This is especially true when just meeting someone. It is best to keep things light and happy, but not fake.
Be content (Philippians 4:11). One of the most attractive things a person can be as a friend is just being content. It is very difficult to talk with someone for very long who complains and focuses on the negative. Again, we are not saying to be fake, but it is healthy, both mentally and socially, to find positive things to talk about. Focusing on praises to God helps and only He can give us true contentment as we grow close to Him.
During the times when we are desiring companionship, it is easy to focus on the outcome alone. It is important to stay focused on the One who is our greatest friend and who is working out something during this time for your good (Romans 8:28). Stay hopeful and confident that God hears your prayers and will answer in His way and in His time (1 John 5:14-15).
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
In His service,