What thoughts or memories do the words “church family” evoke in your mind?

  • church congregation familyThe back of heads on Sunday mornings?
  • Friendly greetings as you enter the church building?
  • Conversations before and after meetings?
  • Competitive card or board games around kitchen tables?
  • Picking up trash together around the neighborhood?
  • Sanding and sanding and sanding sheet rock mud until it’s ready to be painted?
  • Sharing meals together?
  • Praying for and with one another?

What comes to my mind is a lifetime full of memories with God’s family, experiences I have collected over years of following Jesus with friends. There are many, many ways to get beyond the surface level with others.  It helps to be patient and remember that friendships develop over time and through making intentional choices to invest in your relationships. One of these intentional choices is finding experiences you can share with someone that will build trust and help deepen the relationship.

7 Ways to Connect with your Church Family

Here are seven ways our family has developed close relationships within the local church:

    1. People joyfully serving the church familyOpening our home to others – meals, games, growth groups, overnight guests
    2. Volunteering to help others – moves, roofing projects, scraping floors
    3. Helping at church work parties – serving food, painting, cleaning
    4. Serving consistently at church – for me right now, the nursery and cleaning the building
    5. Praying together – calling a friend when I need prayer, as well as offering to pray with them
    6. Celebrating someone’s birthday – a meal or dessert, a picnic, a party
    7. Offering to give someone a ride – to church or somewhere else

All of these provide opportunities for conversations, a chance to get to know one another better.

A Few Relationship Insights

So that freedom to pursue and develop friendships among us is fostered, it helps to realize that:Connecting with Friends at church

  • Friends are gifts from God.
  • Every relationship will not be the same, nor have the same depth.
  • We are not to compare ourselves with others, nor our relationships with others’ relationships.
  • It is good to want everyone to have close relationships, even if we do not share as close a relationship with someone as they have with someone else.
  • It is healthy to include others, especially those new to the family, in the positive, life-giving relationships that we enjoy.

One of the best things about being part of God’s family is that we get to spend eternity together.  So let’s begin and continue making memories with one another, and keep opening our hearts to others as God brings them into His family. Getting to really know one another takes time, but it is worth the investment.