7 ways to make new friends
Making new friends can be scary and intimidating. Maybe you’re starting college in a new town. Maybe you’ve moved your family to a big city where everything is unfamiliar. Or maybe you’ve changed churches and you don’t recognise a single familiar face when you walk through the doors.
I know what that’s like because I’ve been there too. In 2017, my husband and I started attending a new church. As much as I’m an extrovert, I found it really weird and uncomfortable being the new kids on the block. And I’ve got to admit that I spent a few car rides home in tears.
There’s no doubt it’s hard to make new friends. It’s downright exhausting, awkward and time consuming. It’s tricky navigating how to fit in to existing social groups where everyone’s been ‘besties’ for years let alone finding the time to create deep relationships and build trust.
I’m thankful that those feelings didn’t last forever and that we feel at home in our church community. But it took time. You see, nothing truly special comes easy. You’ve got to go through the awkward, uncomfortable experiences to cultivate community and meaningful friendship.
If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve put together seven tips to help you find great christian friends in the awkward, messy beginning!
1. Get in community
The first step to making great christian friends is to get plugged in to a healthy church community. The Bible instructs Christians to meet together regularly.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)
2. Serve alongside others
Sign up to volunteer in an area of your church - whether its kids ministry, setting up the service, welcoming, the worship or production team, or something else. Get involved in an area you’re passionate about and meet new people in your team as you serve alongside each other.
3. Join a small group
This is such a great way to get to know people on a deeper level and to share around God’s word and pray for one another in a smaller space. It’s incredible how quickly you get to know people when you’re intentionally sharing around God’s word together.
4. Reach out
There’s probably someone you’ve met at church who you’d like to get to know more. Don’t wait for them to ask you to hang out - be brave and ask them to join you for a coffee. It may be scary to meet up with someone you don’t really know. But allow yourself the time to get to know them. Don’t know what to say? Ask them about their work, family and passions. You might find that the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
5. Be consistent
Don’t be discouraged by the time it can take to make solid friendships. It often takes months and months to make good friends (if not years). It’s OK for the process to be slow - after all, not everyone will be the best friend for you and not everyone will have your best interest at heart. Keep showing up for your new friends and being present but don’t be afraid to take your time getting to know them, using godly wisdom to guide you as you decide who to trust and how much to share.
6. Give more than you take
Don’t be the person who’s always trying to get something out of others! Be the friend who gives - whether it be lending your friend some clothes, checking in on her, bringing her flowers when she’s going through a hard time, celebrating her in the good times or picking up the tab after coffee. Basically, be the kind of friend that you’d love others to be for you.
7. Extend the table
Don’t be the girl who creates an exclusive circle of friends. As you make new friends, keep extending the table. There’s always room for more. Invite new and old friends to join you. And remember, we’ve all been the new person before. So if you see someone new hanging around all awkward like you used to, ask them to join you too. There’s always more room at the table.
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