“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindness there is at last one which makes the heart run over.”
Even in church plants when everyone is new, one observes the development of some social tension. It does not represent spiritual failure. It is simply an inevitable aspect of a developing social organization. The challenge is universal and potentially affects every congregation that is attracting visitors and new members.
Part of friendship is shared history. So newcomers who join the church, whether by transfer or by baptism, must get past a natural, inevitable social barrier before they are fully assimilated into the congregation.
If we do not have a carefully thought-out strategy for helping people build relationships outside of Sabbath morning, our smiles and hugs will appear over time to be insincere.
At Ottawa East SDA, we are dedicated to cultivate mutuality of relationship that is essential to high-quality friendships. So long time members must help newcomers make friends with other newcomers. But long time members themselves cannot—alone—provide the friendship and connection newcomers need