Connecting with other Believers


(Luna) #1

I wanted to know some of the best ways to connect with other Christians. I have social anxiety and it makes it extremely difficult to talk with people. One on one I do okay for the most part but in groups I don’t do well at all. Most Christians I come in contact with don’t see any use for apologetics so I come off really weird or get that look of boredom if I try to talk about it.

Because of this I do struggle with depression and loneliness, but I know how to deal with it in a healthy way. Any advice would be appreciated :slight_smile:


(CARMEN ST. CLAIRE ) #2

Hi Luna, where do you live? I’m in Tampa, FL. Let’s talk, I know how you feel, I often have same experience.

Have a blessed day!

Carmen


(SeanO) #3

@Luna The following thread on ‘feeling lonely at Church’ has quite a few terrific thoughts on how to handle this dilemma. The only additional thought I would add is that persistence often pays off - keep trying different small groups / social circles until you find some folks with whom you can engage in a meaningful way. It may take time, but in my experience with prayer and persistence are a sure path to finding some folks who can connect with you and help you to feel more a part of a community.

May Jesus give you courage and wisdom as you seek a group of folks to be connected with and may He bring people into your life to help pull you in to meaningful community.


(Luna) #4

I don’t really tell people online where I live, for safety reasons. But it is nice to meet you. :slight_smile:


(CARMEN ST. CLAIRE ) #5

Hi Luna, I didn’t mean your actual address, I understand internet security even on a Christian website. But I am trying to organize a regional meeting between those of us who are within maybe, 7 hours of each other? I got response from a girl in Georgia, she too was looking for fellowship.


(Luna) #6

I wouldn’t be able to meet up since I’m very far away.


(cindy lee) #7

Hello Luna, I have a niece with that same name. She smiles a lot and giggles. I wanted to encourage you. I have been that way for many years - “social anxiety and it makes it extremely difficult to talk to people”.

I have been reading Acts a few times over and over. In there you will see how bold Paul and the apostles are. I also read up on Paul’s life to see how he faced many integrations, skeptics, and much opposition. From his conversion to following Christ with all he had.

ttps://www.amazon.com/Paul-Grace-Grit-Great-Lives/dp/0849917492/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3NPLGD3NUUC2Q&keywords=paul+by+charles+swindoll&qid=1550327274&s=gateway&sprefix=Paul+by+Charles+%2Caps%2C186&sr=8-1

This book made me see that I too will have much opposition and can be bold. I may not travel the world nor face torture but skepticss towards the trinity is so real. Many people are confused, not understanding, and some are not sure if churches are the best surrounding for people. We Christ followers have the best mentors in the bible. They hurt, they cry, and most of all they reveal the Love of God. That in the most foundational aspect we should have - LOVE. Complete love and pray for strength, wisdom, and knowledge from the Holy Spirit. Also connect with believers so they will strengthen you, Paul had so much of this during his imprisonment.

Plus, Christ says that He will be with us. Don’t fret and cast all your anxiety’s upon the Lord. In groups ask quietly for the Holy Spirit to guide you in your words and what lays in your heart to come out in complete gentleness. I hope this helps? I am still new to discussing here and standing for Christ.


(Brittany Bowman) #8

Hi, Luna. First and foremost- thanks for having the courage to ask your question here and create this thread where we can study together. It’s something I struggle a good bit with, too.

We are made as relational creatures, yet this world’s relationships are only a very dim mirror to draw us to seek the pure and perfect love of Christ. While we can sometimes feel like we have to “earn” relationships with others by saying and doing the right things, we actually rejoice in these moments of struggle as a reminder our relationship with Christ is one we never earn. And while it is human nature to find people who think like us for friendships, we can rejoice that Christ deliberately sought us out in our wretched state, far different from His own perfection.

Abdu Murray had an interesting response to the need for apologetics. I love his analogy of attending a orchestra concert. Additionally, Vince Vitale and Michael Ramsden have good resources on starting conversations. In my own life, I’ve found it helpful to get into the “Why” of people think, without formally letting others know I’m guiding towards Christian topics. Why is someone working towards a specific goal at school, and why will it give them satisfaction? Amidst political conversations, how does identity influence our positions and what even is identity in the first place? etc. When we start to look for meaning in our lives, it’s hard to avoid Christ. As we plant seeds of wondering in others’ mind, it can challenge them to think more deeply about their own faith.

I’m starting to notice many churches have a missed opportunity in the “Ministry of the Back Pew.” While the engaged folks tend to sit in the middle or the front and are often welcomed in to join others, there is a quiet string of individuals in the back who are either shy or sliding in late because something in their life was going crazy that day. These are the folks who really need to feel the family of Christ. We can rejoice they still came to learn about and worship Christ, but I wonder what it would look like if some mature Christians deliberately sat in the back and engaged these folks in conversation. If you find yourself back there, inviting some of these folks to an impromptu lunch, remembering their names, perhaps texting to ask if they’ll be sitting in the same place next week, etc. could solve a yearning in both of your hearts and start to change the culture.