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Thoughts on Transitioning: Making New Friends


Recently, I’ve entered into a new position, in a new church, in a new town, while living in a new house, but still with my old family. (Which isn’t all that old…) There have been boxes to unload, and so many new people to meet. Over the next 2 weeks I thought I would speak about some of those transitional moments for me. Not that I’m more special than anyone else, but I’ve done quite a bit of self-reflection over the past 2 months to find myself where I am now. Let’s consider this documentation of that self-reflection.

I’ve found that the best advice moving into something unfamiliar is to not try to hard to make what I want to happen…happen. I’m not talking about programming, church-work, staffing changes, etc… I’m speaking towards the things I really want. Friends, confidants, mentors, and those people who generally make living somewhere worth living there.

I find myself living completely inside the tension of wanting to make new friends, but also trying to take the time to find who’s friendly. It’s the tension between wanting to wait before I judge people’s motives, and  instinctively  jumping to conclusions quickly.  It’s the awkward place of feeling like you need to say something to someone, but you’re not yet sure whether they want you to say something.

In this transition, I sit as the  listener  in the room, the one willing to be the very last to speak, and the one unwilling to tease a new friend too hard. I pray for my children that their friends come quickly and that those friends are wise. I pray for my wife, that her friends come quickly and that those friends are encouraging. And, I pray for me, that my friends come in that perfect timing; and I pray that those friends be the ones that make being here worth truly being here. Know what I mean?

“One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor.” –Proverbs 12:26a

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

1 Comment

  1. amy dolan · September 10, 2012

    great post. wise words on waiting to find the right friends. appreciate this!