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View Full Version : Developing friendships and starting conversations



*Living~By~Faith*
Sep 18th 2008, 07:22 PM
I'm attending a church that has many wonderful opportunities that I was looking for in a church such as ministries within the church, outreaching to the community, and teaching from the Word.

But I'm finding it difficult to make friends and start conversations at this church. I've never been good at starting a conversation. People will pass by and ask how I'm doing or something along those lines, but it usually doesn't go much further than that. The past couple of weeks I've been wanting to get to services right as they begin and leave as soon as they are over just because I don't have anything to really say to anyone. Notice I said that's what I've been wanting to do, but it's not what I've been doing. I do stay for a few minutes after services but usually only tell people by as they are leaving. I just feel like I don't fit in especially when I see all of these others around me carrying on conversations.

I'm finding myself wanting to be around the older women more than the teenagers and the people in my age group. Which I find strange because meeting others in my age group was one of the many reasons why I wanted to find another church. Actually last Sunday I was in a room with some teenagers and I thought their conversation was inappropriate. They were commenting that they think someone in the church is bi-sexual. I wanted to tell them that they shouldn't be talking like that and making assumptions, but I didn't say anything since I didn't know how to handle the situation. Should I have said something?

I will say that there are probably four or five people that I have developed a friendship with and talk to regularly, but still don't have much of a conversation with them either. I know this is about me and not about this church, because I'll face this problem anywhere. This is the first time in years since I've been in a social setting. I'm also still fairly shy.

Literalist-Luke
Sep 19th 2008, 04:02 AM
I'm attending a church that has many wonderful opportunities that I was looking for in a church such as ministries within the church, outreaching to the community, and teaching from the Word.

But I'm finding it difficult to make friends and start conversations at this church. I've never been good at starting a conversation. People will pass by and ask how I'm doing or something along those lines, but it usually doesn't go much further than that. The past couple of weeks I've been wanting to get to services right as they begin and leave as soon as they are over just because I don't have anything to really say to anyone. Notice I said that's what I've been wanting to do, but it's not what I've been doing. I do stay for a few minutes after services but usually only tell people by as they are leaving. I just feel like I don't fit in especially when I see all of these others around me carrying on conversations.

I'm finding myself wanting to be around the older women more than the teenagers and the people in my age group. Which I find strange because meeting others in my age group was one of the many reasons why I wanted to find another church. Actually last Sunday I was in a room with some teenagers and I thought their conversation was inappropriate. They were commenting that they think someone in the church is bi-sexual. I wanted to tell them that they shouldn't be talking like that and making assumptions, but I didn't say anything since I didn't know how to handle the situation. Should I have said something?

I will say that there are probably four or five people that I have developed a friendship with and talk to regularly, but still don't have much of a conversation with them either. I know this is about me and not about this church, because I'll face this problem anywhere. This is the first time in years since I've been in a social setting. I'm also still fairly shy.I've noticed that you certainly don't seem to feel inhibited in the slightest here in this forum! :lol: You've probably started more threads in the few weeks since you first joined here than I have in the six or so years that I've been doing Christian discussion forums. :thumbsup:

Let me ask you this: If you feel so comfortable expressing yourself in this forum (which is a good thing, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it), what is keeping you from feeling just as free in face to face encounters?

*Living~By~Faith*
Sep 19th 2008, 04:51 AM
I prefer writing over talking as a form of communication because I can get my thoughts out better in writing. I guess my problem has a lot to do with not knowing how to respond to others.

Richard H
Sep 19th 2008, 05:49 AM
Hi Living~By~Faith,
This works for Christians as well as non-Christians:

One of the best ways to start a conversation is to ask about the other person. People love to talk about themselves and will open up to someone who's interested in them.

Richard

PS: When yer stuck - remember the questions for writing:
Who, What, When, Where, Why & How (but not used for gossup) :rolleyes:

SeekingHisWill
Sep 19th 2008, 06:16 PM
I agree it is hard to meet people and begin conversations at church. My church has "small groups" - we meet on Wednesday nights and they tend to be a time to not only discuss the previous Sunday's message and do life application work but also to commune with others and set the groundwork for friendships within the church. Does your church have anything like that? I know you said you were in a teenage group last Sunday but maybe you could try another group?

It does take time though - I've found you have to first become familiar to people, then you have to go through that "small talk" phase and then if it's a good fit - things will progress. It just takes time!

A good conversation starter is to ask about their life. Ask how their week was or how their upcoming week looks... if they give you anything, ask questions or draw from your own life happenings to expound on the conversation.

You can do it. You seem like a kind and interesting person - trust that and pick someone!!! :)

Good luck!

*Living~By~Faith*
Sep 19th 2008, 07:52 PM
They are starting up some small groups/classes next week. I have signed up for one and will sign up for another on Sunday. They also have a women's devotion on Tuesday mornings that I'd like to join, but I haven't been able to yet because of transportation. Most of the women in this group are older so I think I'd like it.

The congregation has over 200 people, and the pastor says as the church grows larger, we must get smaller. Which means to get together in smaller group settings so that we can get to know each other. I've tried asking questions about with what someone says to me about their life or themselves and have done okay with that, but I still occassionally find myself changing the subject to something about myself. Like if someone mentions something happened in their life, then I will share a similiar experience from my own life.

Tanya~
Sep 19th 2008, 07:59 PM
When you get involved working side-by-side with people in ministry, you will get closer. That does take time though.

It's good to recognize when you tend to turn the conversation on yourself, that gives you the chance to learn to stop yourself before doing that. It takes practice if you're in the habit of talking about yourself most of the time.