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Three Ways to Be A Friendly Church

When Kimmie and I got married we decided to attend a different church than her parents. It was a great church, but we wanted to feel independent. As we looked up websites for potential places to visit, we noticed a common theme. Churches loved to promote their friendliness. Homepages filled the screen with cheesy stock photos of smiling faces. But when we arrived on Sunday mornings we discovered the opposite.

As we visited each church, we saw plenty of friendliness, but not towards us. Everyone was being friendly with each other. We looked around, unsure of where to go or what to do. After a couple minutes, we weaved through the numerous coffee huddles and found our seats. After service we stood, waited awhile, and left. That happened every week. We visited both big and small churches. After two months we went back to my in-laws’ church. Sound familiar?

You're Not as Friendly As You Think

This isn't a sob story. In fact, I’m thankful for the experience. Growing up in a Christian home, I didn't know how it felt to be on the other side of the Sunday morning handshake. I realized that Christians mistake having friends at church for being a friendly church.

Chances are that the church you attend is not as friendly as you think. That doesn’t mean you don’t attend a good one. It just means that comfortability makes it difficult to see what’s really there—or not there. Here are three ways to change that.

1. Shake Things Up

Abraham Lincoln had a habit. Every evening he sat next to someone different. Not only did it help him learn names. It gave him the opportunity to connect with more people. This proved invaluable later on in his political career.