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Are church cliques putting people off going to church?

The church I go to is divided up into so many different cliques that ignore anyone who isn’t in them. I often ask myself are these church cliques putting people off going to church?

As a church, we should come together to share our joys and sorrows, our triumphs and struggles. We support each other, we lift each other up, and we strive to be the best versions of ourselves. But what happens when we ignore people at church? What happens when we turn our backs on those who need us the most?

As a Christian, I have noticed experienced myself the cliquish attitudes in churches that I have attended. It is disheartening to see that even in a place where we go to seek God’s love and guidance, we can still find ourselves feeling unwelcome due to the actions of others.

Ignoring people at church is not only impolite, it is also damaging to the very spirit of our Christian community. When we ignore people, we make them feel excluded and unwelcome. We send a message that says “you are not important” or “you don’t belong here.” This is not the Christian message. This is not the message of love and compassion that we are meant to share.

Church is a place for fellowship and mutual support, and ignoring people goes against that spirit. We are meant to be a family, a community of believers who care for each other and look out for each other. When we ignore people, we damage that family, we weaken those bonds of fellowship, and we make it harder for us to achieve our mission of spreading love and compassion.

Jesus himself said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). Love is the cornerstone of Christianity, and we must show that love to everyone who walks through the doors of our churches. We must be welcoming, considerate, and friendly to each other, regardless of whether we have known them for years or if they are newcomers.

The Bible teaches us to love our neighbours as ourselves and to welcome strangers. It is not enough to simply attend church and go through the motions, we must actively seek to embody these teachings in our actions towards others. We must recognize the harm that cliques can cause and make a conscious effort to break down these barriers.

In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” By ignoring newcomers and shunning them, we are turning our backs on Jesus himself. We must remember that every person who walks through the doors of our churches is a beloved child of God, and we must treat them as such.

So, my friends, let us not ignore people at church. Let us be the welcoming, open, and loving community that we are meant to be. Let us embrace each other, support each other, and lift each other up. Let us be the family that we were always meant to be. And let us spread that message of love and compassion to the world.

How to make people feel part of the church and not ignored

As believers, it’s our duty to make others feel welcomed and included in our community. But how do we do that? Here are a few tips that will help you avoid ignoring people and make them feel more included at church:

  • Whenever someone is talking to you, give them your full attention. Listen carefully to what they’re saying and respond thoughtfully. Don’t just nod your head and respond with generic replies. Show them that you care about what they’re saying.
  • Initiate conversations with people who seem left out or isolated from the everyone else at church. Take the time to get to know them and make them feel like they’re a part of the community. Ask them about their interests, hobbies, and passions. You might be surprised by what you learn.
  • Make an effort to remember names and use them in conversations. This shows that you value the person and care about them as an individual. It makes them feel seen and heard.
  • Always avoid interrupting or talking over people. This can be a sign of disrespect and can make people feel like their opinions don’t matter. Wait until they’re finished speaking before responding.
  • Avoid making assumptions about people. Don’t judge someone based on their appearance, social status, or any other characteristic. Treat everyone with respect and kindness.
  • Invite people to participate in group activities or events during the week. Just meeting and talking to people for 10 minutes each Sunday is not enough. Show them that you’re interested in getting to know them better outside of church.
  • Be aware of your body language and facial expressions to show interest and receptivity. Smile, make eye contact, and lean in when someone is speaking. This can make a big difference in how people perceive you.
  • Do not be argumentative or pedantic. It is a common temptation, to feel as though you must always be right and to engage in argumentative and pedantic behaviour, You might even try to rebuke people for the slightest of things that they might have said. Instead, choose to approach conversations with grace and humility, seeking not to prove yourself as being right, but to understand and learn from one another.
  • Be genuine towards others and show empathy and understanding towards others’ feelings and needs. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand their perspective. This can create a sense of connection and understanding when you are talking to them.
  • Lastly, take the time to follow up and check-in with people after conversations or meeting them at church. This shows that you care about them and value their presence in the community… If someone has not been too the church for a while try to get in contact with them and let them know that they are missed. If you are worried about them in anyway incite them to meet up somewhere for a face-to face chat.

Making people feel included at church is not just a nice thing to do, it’s a necessary thing to do. We are all part of the same body of Christ.

What do you think?

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