I’d like to talk about a topic I feel could help anyone out there who would like to move, but they’re held back because they don’t know the first step for acclimating yourself to a new city/region. This can also apply to anyone seeking more guidance, love and affection in their lives. This article is what I’ve found you can do to help acclimate myself quickly to a new situation and life.
1. Find your church
You aren’t always going to like where you are at any giving moment, in fact it may feel like the opposite of what you want. I’m here to tell you that its ok. You don’t have to be comfortable with where you currently are. The only thing that matters is you take the first step towards fixing your situation in a manner thats best fit to your needs.
By the numbers in the past year I’ve moved 7 times (3 cities/3 states), attended 20-30 different churches and joined small groups from all over. What have I learned through this experience? Lots.
Every time I have moved to a new location its important to ask around for churches people your age are currently attending. The people you associate with already are the best source–even if you don’t know anyone directly living in the city you just moved to. One way I found to help with this is to let my social networks know I am moving. God always sends you everything you need, you just have to speak up. By letting my networks know where I was moving that was enough for them to introduce me to their friends via Facebook, and also give me insight into other social networks in that area which might be to my liking.
This is the digital age, its important we’re using it to our every advantage.
2. Visit several different churches before deciding on just that one
Not every place you attend is for you, its a simple fact. Travel around a bit, be open to having new experiences every time you venture to a new place of worship. Make sure there are people your age there who are hungry the way you are. The more you surround yourself with the right people the stronger you, and others you interact with will grow.
My advice to help with this would be to check the pamphlet for information regarding the social meetup groups that church has to offer. There are a lot of churches that really get down to the nitty gritty on the specification of social groups best suited for your needs in regard to growing in your faith.
3. Join your church (find friends)
So you’ve found your church, excellent! :)
Now its time to attend those group meetups. Its ok to be a little afraid showing up to a new house/address without knowing anyone inside. I’m here to give you insight to make this transition easier.
What I did was find out which service (if your church offers more than one) people like me usually attend. Not only that–I kid you not–those people actually sit together! So its quite easy to find them once you’re now attending the right service. Another trick is to look for people who physically look and dress the way you do. This is a total life-hack that works in more arenas for finding yourself. From here stick around after service is over and meet some new people. Its as simple as walking up, making eye contact and saying “Hi, my name is <fill-in-the-blank>.”
When I did this at Flatirons I attended the Saturday night service and hung out in the lobby area afterwards. My intent was to grab a beer with others and hopefully meet some people already involved in group meetups. I of course met several who were involved in such groups, which made it easier to know what to expect and also made it more comforting to know a few people prior to showing up at a group meetup as a newcomer.
Meeting new friends beforehand, and then attending the actual group meetup is a lot like the process of turning a cold call into a warm one. By virtue of introducing yourself prior to meeting on group meetup night both you and others at the meetup are more comfortable with the environment. Its not totally necessary to meet people in your new meetup group before attending. I’m only sharing this because I know its not always easy walking into a room with people you don’t know, and this is something I personally did to help myself transition.
4. Listen and share
At the group gatherings I’ve found its a great idea to show up on time. Lots of groups are different. Some have a half hour timeframe where people arrive and socialize and others are more conscientious of their group time. Showing up on time gives you more opportunity to meet others in the group prior to whatever lesson you study that night, and it also ensures you won’t miss any growth discussion.
Its also smart to be conscientious for allowing others to share as much as you are. If you’re more introverted and only share every so often that is completely fine, just be sure that if you’re more of an extravert you aren’t over-sharing. The more you listen the more you learn. The goal is for everyone to feel as comfortable and open as possible in effort to create an environment enabling of healing and growth.
5. Be you
Honestly, if you are just yourself you are going to attract the right people where ever you go in life. God will always deliver, we just need to be awake enough to know when he’s sending us a gift. The more you you can be, the more prosperous you will be.
6. Align yourself
Affirmations are a great way to do this. The photo in this post displays the affirmations I say in the mirror every morning. They have been an essential tool I’ve used to help realign my thinking when I wake every morning. Perhaps the picture above will help you to create your own?
My hope is this list will help you make a new transition if you’ve been on the fence for a while. It is possible to start a new life, and you can do it today.
Do you have any advice you’d like to share for joining new social groups? Respond in the comments below.