Loneliness and the church

Do you ever feel lonely in church? Or should I put it, who doesn’t feel lonely in church? I’m awake at 4:47 am for a variety of reasons. Some depression, lost my earplugs, whatever. So this is what’s coming out of my head. Just read something that reminded me of being lonely or left out. I remember being surrounded by people in ministry. Lots of “friends” to serve with but we never and I mean never, got an invitation to anyone’s home. I often wondered(and still do at times) if we were just that unpleasant to be around? I remember one woman saying that she had enough friends and didn’t know how she could find the time to develop new friendships. We were in a meeting talking about how to build community within our service team. That sort of attitude continued. If you weren’t in someone’s social interest group than you didn’t really connect personally either inside or outside of serving time. It seemed a bit junior high for adults.

We shared lives together inside the walls but not outside. Is that ok? Certainly you can’t be best friends with everyone you know and/or serve with. Is there too high an expectation for a church to be a social epicenter? What do you make of that?

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8 responses to this post.

  1. I feel like you do a lot of times. We rarely go over to anyone’s house except to leave kids for babysitting occasionally. The past year has been taken up with new baby care, so it’s been hard to get out or get anyone over as well. I guess it’s cyclical. Though I do feel left out sometimes, I also am coming to realize that I have to reach out to others if I want them to reach out to me too.

    Reply

  2. I know exactly what you mean. I have felt the same way. When I was working for the church I invited my entire team which was like 180 adults, to my house for a cookout. A small house I might add, lol. But I figured, heck, everyone brings a dish and we have a blast!

    Maybe 20 people plus thier families showed. maybe..

    I think our church families, or the ones we come to know more than others, should be a part of our lives, inside and outside.

    I got the feeling when leading that group that people were ok with me seeing who they were at church, but maybe not beyond that. Or maybe they just didnt have enough time. Who knows.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Joni on August 2, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    I feel much more connected to the people in our current church than in the past. Could be us, could be them. Who knows.

    Reply

  4. Gosh Joni,

    This is a sad post.

    The key here is to stay on mission while creating intimate community!

    I wish you the best!

    Reply

  5. Joni,

    I have posted many times on things like this. It is not abouit being “best friends”, but is about following the bible. There is where the problem is. We talk about discipleship but do we really want to do it? The NT model is following GOD together. Being invovled in each others lives. we just can’t seem to get there.

    Reply

  6. ahhh, the church click. eewww. not my fave subject. very little tolerance for it.

    i am all about community and reaching out.

    its easy for me to want to approach only the people i know at church. its comfortable, familiar. but i am drawn to the ones who are sitting alone. the faces ive never seen before. this is actually the heartbeat of our church. i love that about our Fellowship. i am not trying to toot our horn – but we have made it a priority to reach out. and for the most part…i think we do. i hope we do. but i know we can always do better.

    Reply

  7. Get to Florida and I’ll cook you the best filet mignon with one of my ooey gooey Ragamuffintop NOT friendly desserts. I love to have people in my home learning about each other’s lives and sharing — even if only for one night — how God has moved in their lives. Open invite.

    Thanks for making people realize how important this is.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Dianne on August 9, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    after reading Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner earlier this year, i’ve tried to make it a point to invite people over more. doing so reminds me that i want to welcome people into my life (as well as my home). the whole hospitality thing is so not easy but necessary if we want to get past the hi/goodbye/fake happy faces at church thing.

    Reply

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