Ten Ways to Avoid Building
Community within the Church





1.      Keep conversations short.
You are busy, you have a lot to deal with in your life, if you talk to someone you might get close to them and that takes time and energy that you donít have. Just keep it short and sweet, donít bother talking about anything more than the weather. If you donít know a person is hurting, then you donít have to do anything about it.


2.      Always sit in your ďassignedĒ seat
By always sitting in the same seat you always sit around the same people. These folks know the deal, and stick to the appropriate 30 second conversations: weather, sports, how the new preacher is doing, etc. Also, this keeps you from having to venture out, meet new people, and possibly sit next to someone you arenít familiar with.


3.      Avoid new people
Itís one thing to deal with all the people that you already know at church, but itís another to actually meet new people. Seriously, you arenít good with names, you donít have the time, or the energy, so just walk right past anyone you donít know. After all, they wonít notice that you totally avoided them.


4.      Come in late
Donít overlook the beauty of this one. By coming in late you totally avoid even the 30 second conversations. And (bonus), you avoid the new people! It just makes life easier.


5.      Leave immediately after the service (or early)
This has the same benefits as coming in late, with the added benefit of getting on the road more quickly to beat those other churches to eat. This way you get out of that crowded church building so that you can go sit with your people and eat a meal. If you add this method with the coming in late method you could go to a church for years and never meet anyone.


6.      Be physically present but mentally absent
When talking to someone, pretend to listen by nodding your head and saying ďuh huhĒ while you are really thinking about what show comes on TV later that night. Basically, just donít engage anyone on any level. After all, youíre just there to put in your ďtimeĒ and then get on with your life.


7.      Donít share a meal
If you goal is to avoid community, this step is of the utmost importance, donít ask people to lunch! Sharing a meal is an intimate thing that creates deeper relationships. So, when someone asks you to lunch fake a stomach ulcer or something, just get out of it.


8.      Stay very, very busy
The busier you are, especially on a Sunday, the less time you have to ďdealĒ with people. In fact, attempt to be so busy that when speaking to someone you never even stop walking past them as you say hello.


9.      Make your default response ďeverything is greatĒ
People will always ask how you are doing. Make sure that you have your ďdefaultĒ answer ready so that when they ask you are ready to say, ďeverything is great!Ē This must be your default response, otherwise you might actually let on that your life is not perfect, or worse, that you are struggling. This colossal mistake could lead to deeper conversation and deeper relationship. If you are going to really avoid community while in church, this is probably your best weapon.


10. Donít show up
This is definitively your best method of avoiding community overall because there is no community where there are no people.


Sadly, I see much of myself in these 10 things. As a minister I tend to fall into many of these habits because I am busy and because I feel like I need to talk to everyone. I also see this happen in the church every week.


How about you? Is there anything that you would add to this list?