I remember my first dance as a junior high student. My determination to enjoy the music and dance without any self-consciousness disintegrated five minutes into the first song.
My consciousness became aware of someone staring at me. I was moving with the music. When I opened my eyes, I saw Jacie and Tanya. They pointed and laughed. I stopped dancing. The joy was gone.
I never took that risk again.
Going to church is taking a big risk. It’s not like calling your friends and getting coffee. You are walking into a building of people, like walking to your first dance. The bigger the audience the better the chance someone will judge your first steps.
You long for that connection with people in your church, but are unwilling to commit to any of the gatherings or invitations or even connect emotionally with them. The worst thing is walking into a luncheon and wondering if someone wants you to sit at their table. Or sitting at a table full of people who know each other and you are not sure how to contribute meaningfully to the conversation. So we keep our commitments distant.
Our answers are always, maybe or silence.
It’s safer to hang out with people in our own circle than to get to know new people.
Still, you long for that new connection. What if it’s a kindred spirit?
So how do you break that fear and take healthy, relational risks?
Your first steps will be clumsy, but it’s okay to be you. If you are not connecting with your church, it may be that you are distancing yourself emotionally.
So what are the first steps of friendship:
- Say yes or no. Be firm in either answer. Stop using maybe.
- Go to the luncheons and events. That’s the easiest way to get to know people–crowds eradicate the awkward silence.
- Be persistent. Friendships develop over time. Your first or even second visit won’t bring those connections.
- Get involved in a prayer ministry. Praying together creates intimacy.
- Practice committing to friendships. Show up and be the friend, even if you are scrambling to find something in common with the other person.
Ultimately, you can trust God, but if your idea of God was distorted from the religion you came from, trusting Him will take time.
It takes a first, risky step though in faith to heal your distortion of God.
Why not start now?