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Ignored at Church

After recently moving to a new city I decided to start going to church to meet new people and to find out more about god to help strengthen my faith. I have always believed in God and Jesus but having never read the bible or went to a church before the experience of going to church was totally new to me and not what I was expecting.

Initially, I was given a very warm by a few people at the church and reckoned with time I would get to meet more people and make lots of great friends. After a few weeks of going to the church, I found out that they were having a summer BBQ which I thought would be a great opportunity for me to go and meet lots of great new people.

At the BBQ and was given the cold shoulder by everyone. Literally, nobody could be bothered to speak to me or even give me the time of day by smiling at me. I felt like a complete spare part just wondering aimlessly around waiting and hoping that someone would at least think “Hey, that’s a new person is on their own, I think I will just introduce myself to him and introduce him to my friends as well” but that never happened. One of the reasons I started going to church was to meet people at to help restore my faith in other people.. after getting severely bullied at school which has given me huge self esteem issues as well so this has been a real blow to me the fact that even at church I am not accepted and nobody wants to talk to me. When I got home after an hour and a half at the BBQ feeling lonely I got home and started having super negative thoughts about what I have done for people to hate me so much… and even that maybe I’m not a good enough person to be a Christian and these people could sense that so that’s why they ignored me but no! This experience really knocked my confidence and has really damaged my faith in people but not god.

Absolutely anyone can be a Christian!! Christianity isn’t a clique and everyone should be welcome at church and not ignored.

For anyone who has had a similar experience at church what I say to you is don’t let this get you down or beat you as god is your friend no matter what and is always there for you. If anyone is reading this and you are a pastor, preacher or just a churchgoer please include everybody in your church because luckily enough for me my faith in God is strong and I’m not going to let this experience stop me from being a Christian obviously but if I can imagine if someone was just starting out being a Christian and received the cold shoulder like this then this really is not good at all and could make them lose confidence in Christianity as that person may then WRONGLY think that this is what Christianity is all about when it is not so I beg you to please not give anyone the cold shoulder and make a super effort to include everyone and make them feel welcome also even people that have been going to church for a while make sure you still make an effort with them and above all don’t just lose interest and give up on them. Treat others how you expect to be treated.
I’m not going to stop going to the church and I will try my best to keep on making an effort but I guess there isn’t anything stopping me from going to two different churches on Sunday too so does anyone from Sheffield know of a good church I can go to that will accept me for who I am?

UPDATE:

I have woken up this morning still feeling down and deflated thanks to yesterday. Maybe this church just isn’t right for me as even though I agree with a lot of things they say at the service I do not agree with something’s this church believe in. For example, at the church, they seem to think that you can buy a miracle… because the more money you give to the church the more blessed you will be. I kind of feel awkward as well when they pass the bucket around because I am unemployed/ self-employed and really struggling at the moment and only earn practically £10 a week so even though I do like giving money to the church £2 is all I can give which doesn’t sound much but that is actually quite a lot of money to me (seriously here in the UK you don’t get any benefits at all and if it wasn’t for my parents I would be on the streets) if I earned more money I would give more money to help others (not in return for a miracle though) but when they’re saying to get your credit cards out and to give lots of money I kind of feel bad.

Also there seems to be a really big divide in the church between white people and black people it really is a huge shame because there is no mixing at all as the white people go off to one side of the church in their groups whilst the black people go off to the other side of the church in their groups and don’t speak to each other.
Should I find a new church? I have posted on a couple Christian forums to get some opinions and the message I got back is that all churches are different and there are plenty of other churches out there that are not cliquey like this.

What do you think?

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  1. The Bosh…wow this article really spoke to me. You are NOT alone in feeling this way. Ive been in church my whole life and have experienced this OVER and OVER and OVER. You mentioned youre disabled and feel youve done something wrong. I dont think thats it. I really dont think looks or even personality have much to do with it. I also think this is just not just isolated to “church.” I think in general society at large has become self absorbed. Its the me me me mentality instead of thinking about reaching out to others. The problem is the church has not come out and decided to be separate and different from the world and hence why many churches arent growing.I cant tell you how many times ive exchanged phone numbers with someone at church, reached out and texted them ( and they usually do respond) but then not have them make ANY effort to contact me the next time. The church is in a sad and asleep state and if we dont wake up…the churches may really start to diminish as the younger generations seem to be falling out more and more. I think most people fail to realize when people walk through the doors of the church they want LOVE and CONNECTION, not a sermon. As a church, we need to get it right. As christians we need to be “looking” at church and everywhere we go for people we can exchange numbers with, call and ask how theyre doing, and invite them out for coffee to chat. Since it seems most christians dont understand this, the only thing i can say is BE that person. Be the person that looks for others, calls them and reaches out to them. And this post…dont keep these thoughts to yourself anonymously…tell other christians how this made you feel and how you want ti be different and set the example. You can and are the difference. And you will be for the many others that feel “alone” at church.

  2. I wanted to add that the only way Ive ever found out of this situation is to serve and be involved. Its not always a guarentee youll form frindships, but it can definately help. Most friendships i ever have made at church required some leg work. And you may have to make that effort to start out with first knowing no one….which can be weird. So joining things like the worship team, volunteering to serve the youth, park ministries ect usually gets you connected with that particular group of people. Hoping that people will just walk up to you at church or barbeques and exchnage numbers and invite you to coffee is something i think people who feel alone hope and wish for…but for me it almost “never” happened that way. It happened through serving and involvement…even though at first this can be akward when youre new. I do think it can and does get better if we do the leg work.

    • Thank you for taking your time to write your comment, it really helps to know that I am not just being paranoid. Lack of welcoming at a church especially for people new to Christianity can be a huge disservice to god and can feel really personal.
      I think that your are totally right about reaching out to people and doing the opposite of what has became the unfortunate norm. I would hate to think someone new to christianity would go to a church that I go to and feel unwelcome and feel as though Christianity isn’t for them. We should live according to the example of Jesus who would go door to door welcoming people to Christianity… Making friends and welcoming people is a lot more fun anyway than sticking to an clique!

  3. Been going and a member of a Baptist church for twenty years. But for a long time I’m being ignored, I see these people on the street and they ignore me, won’t even acknowledge me. I’m divorced, unemployed, and suffer from chronic Deppression. This does my Deppression worse. Feel unwanted, and am ignored by many at church. It’s not a big church but around fifty members. I’ve tried to mix in but to no avail. Going to my church, isn’t a moment I look forward to. Couples say hi. That’s it. The good friend I have is Married woman. Cares for the sick, not proud, not ignorant, but has a heart for people. I don’t think she is a Christian. God open her eyes. To the Saviour .I pray. My mum died recently and many who knew her. Didn’t even say sorry about your mum. They took no interest. Never even sent her a bunch of flowers nothing. Was really ill. Parkinson’s. Than Christ she was a committed Christian. It could be I’m unemployed on the sick forever. I have three children lovely daughters. I find it Awfull to ignore a father with lovely children. Yes am single. Thinking of stopping being a member. But will still go to my church. Being a member, a Christian, has made no difference to other people in church. No wonder so many have left the church and now have gone astray. If you don’t fit in. Being a non member makes it more manageable. So many people leave. But no other goog churches were the pastor is a true follower of Christ.

    • Your not alone! I know what you mean about having people say hi to you and that’s it they do it at my church at the entrance… seems very hollow especially when you then ask if they are okay and they ignore you :/
      Hope you can take strength from the fact that one of Jesus biggest messages was to love your neighbor which shows that it is not Christianity that is in the wrong here its the fact that people do not listen or practice what they preach.

      It is really sad that in some churches people feel the need to pick and choose which neighbors they will love and make church into some sort of popularity contest!

      I do hope you will be okay maybe have a word with the main pastor and tell them your problems and you need guidance a good pastor will surely help you out 🙂

  4. How many old people did you ask, “What did you think of the sermon?”? How many lonely people did you ask “How long have you been coming here?”? Do you think you are the only one who is shy? Instead of trying to be part of a group of friends, be friendly to one lonely, old person. Most important: When you visit the next church, try to remember that you are there to worship God, not make friends. (I’m not belittling your feelings; I know all about being ignored. I’m Greek Orthodox, the least friendly group of folks you’ll ever find. I didn’t want to stand around feeling ignored during coffee-and-doughnut time, so I forced myself to walk up to a person who was alone, say hello, and ask a question. Why did I keep going back if they are so unfriendly? Because that is where Right Worship [ortho-doxa] of God is, and that’s more important than my feelings!)

    • Thanks for the great advice 🙂 I agree that I can lose sight of what is important and everything ends up being a popularity contest. In my city, there are hardly any churches only “big” franchise ones to go to with a huge emphasis on tithing and offerings to make their franchise bigger… currently the one im going to wants to build a massive stadium outside the city… almost like they are building the tower of babel.. not good when there is a big homeless problem in my city. I guess at the end of the day im only going to make friends which is wrong…I feel in today’s society making friends is getting harder and harder as the world gets colder. I go to church now with my brother who at least gives me some company and he has noticed the same thing. Weirdly we can have a long conversation with the old folks whereas people our age just seem to be too busy to talk, either want to show off about their successful job or just want to end the conversation as quick as possible. I have tried talking to people about the bible but everyone seems to evasive to talking about beliefs.

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