I posted recently about leaving church. Some of the commenters who identified with that post also expressed their frustration of not being able to find people living near them that want to follow Jesus in a deep way and share their experiences. I have definitely found that it involves taking risks to meet new people, especially to find folks who are following Jesus, but outside of western organized Christianity.
And to find a group of people who want nothing but to explore Christ together is extremely rare.
As I said in the other post, there are many people outside of organized Christianity for unhealthy reasons, so there is reason to be cautious.
Also, I think it is worthwhile to mention the importance of discerning what season the Lord may be leading you into. Perhaps there are people in your life right now that you could build deeper relationships with who are not following Jesus. Maybe He is calling you to serve the poor in your area in some way. It may be helpful to focus on what the Lord is bringing into your life rather than what He is not bringing.
Have you ever looked all over your home for something that you need but it seems to have vanished? You look everywhere over and over until you are exhausted and you give up, resigning yourself to the fact that the item is lost forever. And it’s at this point when the item magically appears in plain sight.
Point: Sometimes when you stop looking for something it appears right in front of your eyes.
All that being said, I don’t have the answer to anyone’s particular situation, but I can share a few things from my experience if you are looking to connect with others.
8 Ways to Connect with Others
1. Search for groups on meetup.com. Sometimes groups or people looking to connect with others will set up a page on this website to find others in their area. There is a fee for setting up a page, so people who are on the site are willing to make a small investment to connect with others.
2. Look for Facebook groups related to organic/simple/house church in your area and join them. You can also see what kind of things are posted in the group and get a little bit of an idea if you think you’ll want to try and meet with them.
3. Look for general Facebook groups related to organic/simple/house church that are not location specific. Post in the group and ask if anyone knows of any groups meeting in your area. Some of these groups keep a document on the page that lists where many of the members are located. (You can look up the open group “Organic Church Movements” as an example.)
4. Perform a Google search for “organic church [your town/city/area]”, “house church [your town/city/area]”, etc. The group that I meet with maintains a basic webpage so local people can find us if they are searching.
5. If none of the above work out, consider starting your own page on meetup.com or Facebook.
6. Start a book club using a book on the deeper life in Christ at your local bookstore, library, etc. I haven’t done this but I know others who have been able to connect this way and ended up forming a group together.
7. Volunteer at a local Christian ministry of some kind. Look for an organization that is being the hands and feet of Jesus in the community without judgment towards those they are serving.
8. If you don’t find any groups in your area, search other areas nearby and see if you can visit with those groups or if they possibly know anyone in your area who might be looking to connect with others.
I hope this list provides some avenues for you to try and connect with others. I have definitely found that this can be a long, slow path to follow. I encourage you to keep looking, but also to avoid trying to force something to happen.
Do you have any other suggestions? Share them in the comments.
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