Q&A: Questions and Answers


Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

There’s a girl in my Beehive class who is not very active. She’s the only member in her family, and we’d like to fellowship her. What are some things we can do to make her feel welcome without putting too much pressure on her?

New Era

  • Always remember that you’re doing something nice when you invite someone to a meeting or activity; there is nothing to be embarrassed about.

  • Let your friend know she is always welcome at any activity.

  • Offer your friend a ride and let her know exactly when activities begin and end so she can make accurate plans.

  • Don’t be offended if your friend doesn’t accept your invitations.

  • Never give up!

Knowing the importance of our duty to help others, Church members often get involved in service projects to help the needy and elderly in our communities. But sharing Christ’s love isn’t limited to working at soup kitchens and raking leaves from a widow’s lawn. As important as it is to help provide material goods and services for those who can’t do it on their own, we must be sure also to feed our friends and neighbors spiritually.

Fellowshipping a member of your class or quorum is one of the most valuable services you can provide, but it can be tricky. You might think that since your friend doesn’t come to church, it is simply because she doesn’t want to. You may feel you are bothering her by asking her to come. Perhaps you know that your friend has failed so far in her efforts to gain a testimony, and you are worried that your invitations will be met with resistance or even ridicule. It can be uncomfortable to approach someone you don’t know very well, so as you muster up the courage to make that phone call, remember these tips:

  • Be enthusiastic in your efforts, but be aware of how you are coming across. Never imply that you are better than someone else because you are active in the Church and she isn’t.

  • You are doing something nice when you invite someone to a meeting or activity. There is nothing to be ashamed of.

  • It is entirely possible that the only thing the person you are fellowshipping needs to be active is a friend. However, there may be other factors at work, so don’t be discouraged if you aren’t immediately successful.

  • Pray for strength in your efforts, and pray that the other person will be open to your friendship.

  • If your less-active class member is willing to teach a skill or hobby, have her be in charge at an upcoming activity. Or you might simply plan an activity that incorporates something she enjoys.

  • Be sincere in your efforts. Be a friend all the time. If you’re friendly when you make an invitation to attend church, but indifferent when you’re both at school, you probably won’t be successful.

  • Always remember that even if your efforts are met with indifference or hostility, you are doing the right thing by sharing the gospel and your friendship. Try not to let unkind remarks keep you from trying again.

Readers

When I first began coming to church, I felt really uncomfortable. It took a person who loved me to keep me going. The best advice is to love her, make her feel comfortable, and be a friend.

Crystal Huml, 18 Rexburg, Idaho

Actions speak louder than words. If she knows that you truly care about her, she won’t feel pressured when you invite her to church. Do things for her. Be genuinely interested in her. Live a Christlike life and set a good example for her.

Elder Kosin Aaron, 21 Nigeria Enugu Mission

I am the only Church member in my family. I find that what makes me want to go to church is having peers there who are truly interested in me and care about me. Be a real friend. Tell her how much you want her at church with you.

Adam Lyon, 15 Citrus Heights, California

Invite your friend to church and make sure she has a ride. You might also want to invite her to something outside of church, like going to an appropriate movie or something else fun. Remember to pray for her always.

Kelli Meyer, 15 Pueblo, Colorado

Find out what her interests are and plan your Church activities around them. Be sure to include her in the things you do, even at school. If you are persistent and have good intentions, then you know you have done all you can do.

Steven Dunaway, 17 Ririe, Idaho

One thing we’ve done for less-active members of our class is to do something nice for them. Taking cards or a treat to your friend is a great way to make her feel welcome. Once she meets you and sees how nice you are, she may be more interested in coming to church.

Elizabeth A. West, 16 Azle, Texas

[photo] Photography by Tamra Ratieta; posed by models

[illustration] In the parable of the lost sheep, the Savior speaks of the shepherd who leaves the flock to “go after that which is lost, until he find[s] it” (see Luke 15:4–7). Leaving a “flock” of active friends to entend an invitation to a less-active friend might be hard at first, expecially when we have to overcome nervousness or shyness. But when we extend ourselves to our less-active friends, we are doing the work of the Savior—helping others find His gospel. (Painting The Good Shepherd by John Steel. © Providence Litho.)