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Thread: I don't fit in at Church...need advice.

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    Default I don't fit in at Church...need advice.

    I belong to a fantastic church. It's a bible-believing, bible-reading, bible-teaching (very in-depth) Church. You don't find them everywhere, so I don't want to go somewhere else due to the message being so important.

    The only problem I run into is that the Pastor, and the assistant Pastor all seem too busy to answer questions I have, even if I email with no time restraints because I know they have a sermon to prepare for.

    The wives of these pastors are very stand-off-ish.

    There is a bunch of cliques, and because I am married but have no children, and I don't belong to a particular income bracket, and don't stick to shallow conversation subject (clothes, hair, Mary Kay...etc) but actually talk about things of the Lord, how to help, how to get involved..I don't fit in.

    Tonight for "Fellowship Dinner" I walked in, saw all these people I know (from Women's Retreats... watching their kids in Nursery... know them from Bible Study or the occasional get-together) and although I make eye contact to acknowledge and say "Hi", no one even seems to care that I'm there... and because my husband worked tonight, I was by myself, so I went and sat by myself. It was very depressing.

    I've been looked down on and not invited to lunches by these same women who's kids I watch.. because it's a "servile" position and they're above that (And we wonder why there's always a shortage of nursery workers)

    My questions about my growth as a Christian have been blown off...

    And I'm feeling very sad about this; I look at these people as my family in Christ and not having a family of my own (besides my husband) It's just depressing me.

    Any advice? I'm open to anything. Has anyone else experienced this??? I'd rather just sit home and hang out with Jesus by myself then be around people who don't even care if I'm there.

    Thanks.

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    One of my favorite books: "How to win friends and influence people" - by Dale Carnagie.

    One of the things he teaches, is how to become a more likeable person. Say you have an elderly uncle who lives with you.

    "How are you? Did Uncle Mike get his new walker yet?" It is very simple, and very effective.

    I used to be "Oh, no. It's HER!" People would leave the room if they saw me heading for them. Now I have people looking for me at work.

    People love to talk about themselves. You just have to figure out what they like.

    " I have had an increasing burden to engage in some down and dirty, street evangelism." March 6, 2010

    Isaiah 6:8 I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “ Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?”

    Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

    Matthew 22:9 NIV
    'So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’


    I'm praying for you daily!
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    I'm thinking about what to say. But first I want to just give you a big hug

    How long have you been at this church? I'm sorry if you already said ,I can't remember.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acts5:41 View Post
    One of my favorite books: "How to win friends and influence people" - by Dale Carnagie.

    One of the things he teaches, is how to become a more likeable person. Say you have an elderly uncle who lives with you.

    "How are you? Did Uncle Mike get his new walker yet?" It is very simple, and very effective.

    I used to be "Oh, no. It's HER!" People would leave the room if they saw me heading for them. Now I have people looking for me at work.
    I was in sales for years, and customer service and learned how to talk with anyone about anything. I also learned not to talk about myself (because that's a turn off). Maybe it's because I don't have much in common with these people??? I've been at the church for a year now, and throw myself into anything I can just to meet more ladies and other couples. I'm always volunteering to help because I truly believe serving the Body of Christ is my spiritual gift. I do have very good friends every where else it seems... I dunno. I'll pick up the book and give it a shot, if it helped you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by momoffaith View Post
    I'm thinking about what to say. But first I want to just give you a big hug

    How long have you been at this church? I'm sorry if you already said ,I can't remember.
    Hey, MomofFaith,

    I've been there for over a year now. Thanks for your hug! I'm a shy person, though do well in small groups. I guess I'm an introvert??? lol

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    I do not know details, but here is my two cents.

    I have seen with my own eyes, new people come into the church and blend right in as if they've been there for years. It is doable.

    The hint has already been given by Acts 5:41. If you are genuinely interested in people, and show it by your comments and questions, they will know. This cannot be faked.

    Example: "I heard your daughter was sick. How is she doing?" "I heard your son just graduated. Congratulations!" "Did you get that job you wanted?" "Do you need some help with that?"

    If the focus is on them, and not yourself, people will talk. If you appear at ease with yourself, people will feel more at ease with you. If you feel confident and comfortable, it will show. I you don't, people will pick up on it.

    Also, there are times when someone can appear foreboding or standoffish, and I am surprised to find that the person is not like that at all. Looks are deceiving.

    If I were you, I would remain at your good Bible believing church that feeds you the Word. To make friends, show yourself friendly.

    I think in many cases a person is not comfortable, for whatever reason, and the vibes are picked up by others. Do you tend to feel inferior for whatever reason? Do you feel different, for whatever reason? (Answer this in your own mind.) Check out your own inner voice that directs you, and you may find the thing you need to change.

    The focus should be "others", not on "self" in a social setting. It works. People respond to people who are interested.
    Jesus saith unto him, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me." John 14:6

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    Quote Originally Posted by onehappymeg View Post
    I belong to a fantastic church. It's a bible-believing, bible-reading, bible-teaching (very in-depth) Church. You don't find them everywhere, so I don't want to go somewhere else due to the message being so important.

    The only problem I run into is that the Pastor, and the assistant Pastor all seem too busy to answer questions I have, even if I email with no time restraints because I know they have a sermon to prepare for.

    The wives of these pastors are very stand-off-ish.

    There is a bunch of cliques, and because I am married but have no children, and I don't belong to a particular income bracket, and don't stick to shallow conversation subject (clothes, hair, Mary Kay...etc) but actually talk about things of the Lord, how to help, how to get involved..I don't fit in.

    Tonight for "Fellowship Dinner" I walked in, saw all these people I know (from Women's Retreats... watching their kids in Nursery... know them from Bible Study or the occasional get-together) and although I make eye contact to acknowledge and say "Hi", no one even seems to care that I'm there... and because my husband worked tonight, I was by myself, so I went and sat by myself. It was very depressing.

    I've been looked down on and not invited to lunches by these same women who's kids I watch.. because it's a "servile" position and they're above that (And we wonder why there's always a shortage of nursery workers)

    My questions about my growth as a Christian have been blown off...

    And I'm feeling very sad about this; I look at these people as my family in Christ and not having a family of my own (besides my husband) It's just depressing me.

    Any advice? I'm open to anything. Has anyone else experienced this??? I'd rather just sit home and hang out with Jesus by myself then be around people who don't even care if I'm there.

    Thanks.
    You are have basically outlined how my own experience in Church.

    You don't need to have a book on influencing people. If people don't want to spend time with you no matter how good your social skills are you won't get a look in and basically you can't make people like you either. It isn't a lack of social or communication skills.

    If you don't fall into various group criteria, you like me have trouble fitting in. If you don't have the natural criteria to be in a group or clique you then have to work at it. You sound a bit like me you aren't willing to smooze it to be friends. You are probably a "what you see is what you get" kind of person. Some people are willing to make a fuss over others to get into a group. Personally if I have to be something I am not to be friends with someone it isn't worth it.

    Pray about it.

    I prayed over this very issue and after a while I was introduced to a group of ladies that sat on the outer like me and they decided to meet for Bible Study (established before i met them). We have a great little group of women who have little in common except that we really want to get to know the Bible better and are serious in our faith. As for friendship, we don't have hobbies or and kind of common interests except the Bible and Jesus. Yet we all seem to get on well enough. We don't socialise because we all go different ways outside Church and our Biblestudy group. If we can we do go to a Cafe for a coffee but that is the limit of our ability to get together. Yet in Bible Study we have such a rapport and fellowship it is wonderful.

    Meanwhile I am grateful to hear you are getting good teaching and you have your husband who is also a Beliver. You can of course read you Bible and come share with us here on the Forum. My other fellowship outlet.

    Don't take it to heart. We either click with others or we don't, you can't force it.

    Believe it or not many people feel the same. Even those who are seen with the cliques at Church, they will tell you they talk to these people but don't really feel a part of the group.

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    What Mitsy said.

    I have a wierd constellation of disabilities; I was very hard to like. Trust me, it worked.

    The people I recall fondly are always the ones who let me yak away.

    Of course pray about it, study your Bible, ask God to guide you. But Dale is legit. He actually had a whole section of another book devoted to testimonies and how to get saved.

    " I have had an increasing burden to engage in some down and dirty, street evangelism." March 6, 2010

    Isaiah 6:8 I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “ Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?”

    Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

    Matthew 22:9 NIV
    'So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’


    I'm praying for you daily!
    I get my Bibles here

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    Quote Originally Posted by onehappymeg View Post
    . . .I'm a shy person, though do well in small groups. I guess I'm an introvert??? lol
    You aren't the only one! I, too, have a hard time warming up to groups and new settings. One place that God has used me in the past, and I feel very comfortable serving, is with the elderly women of my church. It's wonderful!!! I did this about 15 years ago for 4 or 5 years, and just now started a group for the older women in my church where we now live. They enjoy my company, and I adore theirs. In the class I taught 15 yrs. ago, one of the elderly women told me, "You take time with us. Most people don't want to be around us 'old' folks." While I was glad that she was showing her appreciation, I felt sad for them that they were feeling left out; I also feel sad for the ones who'd been ignoring them--what a marvelous blessing they were forfeiting.
    You church may not have any elderly women, but most churches do. I guarantee you, you will be a blessing to them, and they will be a blessing to you. -And- I saved the best part for last: they enjoy talking about the Lord, not Mary Kay, etc.
    Blessings to you, Meg, for your sincere desire to serve the Lord.

    -Lynn

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    Lynn,

    That's a great idea. What elderly person does not enjoy someone paying attention? I feel for them as well.
    Jesus saith unto him, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me." John 14:6

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    Quote Originally Posted by onehappymeg View Post
    Hey, MomofFaith,

    I've been there for over a year now. Thanks for your hug! I'm a shy person, though do well in small groups. I guess I'm an introvert??? lol
    I really do understand! Unfortunately there is a lot of "that" in churches. I have encountered it also. I know it hurts. Sometimes Meg, I have found that there is a distance between those who are Christian and those who are really digging deeper in their walk w Jesus. I think it sometimes intimidates others, turns the light onto their lack of zeal so to speak. I am an odd one of sorts, I love people, am a recovering deathly shy person as a kid, and loves Jesus and He is my passion. It sounds as if you are somewhat the same.
    If I were there I'd scoop you up and take you to lunch and we'd have great fun talking about our Jesus What I would suggest you do is maybe, this is uncomfortable I know, ask one of the ladies to lunch or coffee. I've done this. I've went to someone and said, you know you were on my mind the other day. I'd love to get to know you better. How would you like to get some coffee, or lunch, sometime this week? Just try a person at a time. When they go, ask her questions herself. Most people if given the opportunity like to talk about themselves. It then puts you in a valuable light in that person's mind bc they know you are interested in them.
    You sound like you have a giving heart. You just keep giving, pray, stay close to Jesus and know no matter what you are so very precious.

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    I can relate. So many cliques in churchs.If the church is huge like mine I feel like a flower in the desert.People ignore you. I have not been to Church in awhile. I go on-line and listen to the sermons. My pastor gives great sermons. God is not going to ban me to hell because I do not go to Church. He knows my heart and that I love him.God wants me to be at peace. Lets face it alot of Church's are not what they used to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onehappymeg View Post
    Hey, MomofFaith,

    I've been there for over a year now. Thanks for your hug! I'm a shy person, though do well in small groups. I guess I'm an introvert??? lol
    I'm an introvert as well so I know it's tough :/ As an introvert it can be very challenging to be sociable and make friends because you almost have to act in a way which is unnatural to you if you know what I mean... like I always feel like I have to force myself to be more sociable than I really am when I meet new people, and it is hard work, makes me feel exhausted!

    I'm really sorry you haven't made any friends at your church, to be honest those ladies don't sound very nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by onehappymeg View Post
    I've been looked down on and not invited to lunches by these same women who's kids I watch.. because it's a "servile" position and they're above that (And we wonder why there's always a shortage of nursery workers)



    John 13:12-17 (NKJV)

    12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
    !!!!

    I would say try looking at other churches in your area, perhaps you will find one where the teaching is just as good and the people don't just preach the Bible but actually follow what it teaches
    I was going to be a Calvinist, but it just wasn't meant to be!


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    Thanks for the advice ladies!!!! You know, sometimes I want to go up to someone at church, and just talk about deeper things... I'm an introspective person who has been through quite a lot, and I just enjoy completely honest, open relationships. People with the ability to laugh at themselves; not afraid to make a silly joke or be a nerd (because I research EVERYTHING and have an insatiable curiosity). I have very, very few girlfriends at Church... I'm more likely to go up to the girl sitting by herself, and being outgoing with her, than go up to some group of flashy ladies who look like they wouldn't want to scoot one seat down just so you could join in on their fellowship. I've made a best friend by helping her when I didn't know her; and we've been very close through out her pregnancy...she doesn't have ANY family here, so I'm there, just because I know if I was pregnant, I wouldn't have any family. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that life is so short; we're here for a purpose...and I just really want to be around people on THAT level of their walk. To go beyond appearances and the "Church" face, and really be there for each other.

    I'm going to go another step... being a victim of child abuse has made me not trust anyone until recently.. but it also has molded me into a vessel of God's compassion for others. I guess another thing to think of this: I guess some can't relate to me, and vise versa. I think it's like the situation where you're with a group of people through a really traumatic event... outsiders just can't know where you've been, but it's rare finding those people to relate to.

    Pray for my new bestie...she's about to give birth ANY day now, but we're helping her move on Friday into her new place, and she's hoping to make it at least until then.

    You know how those babies like to come early!!!

    Thanks for being there for me, ladies. Even though we've never met, I'm glad I can call you my sisters.

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    Mitsy's comment is the one I agree with most. If it were me going through this, I probably wouldn't go anymore. Actually, its the reason I don't currently attend church. If the atmostphere is one like all the offices/schools/____insert blank__, that I've gone through in life, nothing but a popularity contest, pfft, I wonder if God minds if I don't go to it. I guess I'm just a bit burned out by the down side of people. You shouldn't need a book and you shouldn't need to kowtow to people. They sound stuck up to me. Church and real fellowship shouldn't be like that.

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    Oh wow our situations are much more similar than I thought I also have made one close friend at my church (although hopefully will make more as time goes by, because I really enjoy the company of people there)... and me and this girl became friends because she also doesn't have any family around here and has two young boys, she is also a full time student and her hubby works long hours so it's not easy for her.

    So I help her out with the kids from time to time, or just meet up in town for coffee before her classes. This friendship has been a real blessing for me, because I love helping people but I'm usually too shy to actually offer help (silly I know!) and helping a sister in Christ feels wonderful. She's always there for me as well, when I was really sick last week and my hubby was at work she drove me to the doctor, I didn't even have to ask.

    I definitely know what you mean about enjoying completely open and honest relationships, I think that's what relationships are meant to be like!

    I'm sorry that you went through child abuse, my DH's stepdad who raised him was an abusive alcoholic, it took a lot for my hubby to overcome the emotional scars left by the abuse.

    Anyway, I will be praying for both you and your friend
    I was going to be a Calvinist, but it just wasn't meant to be!


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    Quote Originally Posted by lorenei View Post
    Oh wow our situations are much more similar than I thought I also have made one close friend at my church (although hopefully will make more as time goes by, because I really enjoy the company of people there)... and me and this girl became friends because she also doesn't have any family around here and has two young boys, she is also a full time student and her hubby works long hours so it's not easy for her.

    So I help her out with the kids from time to time, or just meet up in town for coffee before her classes. This friendship has been a real blessing for me, because I love helping people but I'm usually too shy to actually offer help (silly I know!) and helping a sister in Christ feels wonderful. She's always there for me as well, when I was really sick last week and my hubby was at work she drove me to the doctor, I didn't even have to ask.

    I definitely know what you mean about enjoying completely open and honest relationships, I think that's what relationships are meant to be like!

    I'm sorry that you went through child abuse, my DH's stepdad who raised him was an abusive alcoholic, it took a lot for my hubby to overcome the emotional scars left by the abuse.

    Anyway, I will be praying for both you and your friend
    Thanks for sharing this!!! Abuse makes people feel like they are not worthy to even live, especially if it's done by parents (or step). It's so nice to share real things with others, to carry each other's burdens without a "whats in it for me" attitude. I think the spirit prompts us to reach out when we normally wouldn't too... we're both shy, but look at us still being there for the people who really need someone. If that's not God then I don't know what is.

    I bet its super hard to be a mom of 2, plus school, plus husband (who is like kid #3) haha... but you are such a good friend! plus, you can be a good influence on those kid's lives...they see a bit of Christ's selfless love. Good friends are precious.

    I think in a world of shallow values and relationships, forging bonds with people has become so much harder. It's worth it in the end though.


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    Quote Originally Posted by momoffaith View Post
    I really do understand! Unfortunately there is a lot of "that" in churches. I have encountered it also. I know it hurts. Sometimes Meg, I have found that there is a distance between those who are Christian and those who are really digging deeper in their walk w Jesus. I think it sometimes intimidates others, turns the light onto their lack of zeal so to speak. I am an odd one of sorts, I love people, am a recovering deathly shy person as a kid, and loves Jesus and He is my passion. It sounds as if you are somewhat the same.
    If I were there I'd scoop you up and take you to lunch and we'd have great fun talking about our Jesus What I would suggest you do is maybe, this is uncomfortable I know, ask one of the ladies to lunch or coffee. I've done this. I've went to someone and said, you know you were on my mind the other day. I'd love to get to know you better. How would you like to get some coffee, or lunch, sometime this week? Just try a person at a time. When they go, ask her questions herself. Most people if given the opportunity like to talk about themselves. It then puts you in a valuable light in that person's mind bc they know you are interested in them.
    You sound like you have a giving heart. You just keep giving, pray, stay close to Jesus and know no matter what you are so very precious.
    Hey, I'll try the lunch/coffee thing. We just had a Panera Bread open that everyone is stoked about (still even after a few months)lol so that's the "meetup" and I'll give it a try!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
    You aren't the only one! I, too, have a hard time warming up to groups and new settings. One place that God has used me in the past, and I feel very comfortable serving, is with the elderly women of my church. It's wonderful!!! I did this about 15 years ago for 4 or 5 years, and just now started a group for the older women in my church where we now live. They enjoy my company, and I adore theirs. In the class I taught 15 yrs. ago, one of the elderly women told me, "You take time with us. Most people don't want to be around us 'old' folks." While I was glad that she was showing her appreciation, I felt sad for them that they were feeling left out; I also feel sad for the ones who'd been ignoring them--what a marvelous blessing they were forfeiting.
    You church may not have any elderly women, but most churches do. I guarantee you, you will be a blessing to them, and they will be a blessing to you. -And- I saved the best part for last: they enjoy talking about the Lord, not Mary Kay, etc.
    Blessings to you, Meg, for your sincere desire to serve the Lord.
    I was raised by my grandparents (albeit very liberal ones..they don't speak to me now because I'm one of those crazy born-agains PROUDLY!) and I am more comfortable around ladies much older than me, than people of my own age. Isn't that weird? I still was raised old-school in many ways. That's so nice that you've reached out... all of my Nana's friends would get really lonely because after all the kids grow up, move out and get a life on their own, the older parents just aren't a priority anymore.

    I LOVE the stories they tell. They are so sharp and witty and fun to be around, and respectful!! and just so wise.

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    I'm not very good at socializing either.

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