Latter-day Saint Life

Easy conversation starters to help you find connection at church

Women standing in front of a meetinghouse.
Church is a wonderful place to nurture friendships. Here are some ideas when you’re stuck on how to get started.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

In his April conference talk, Elder Ronald A. Rasband shared:

“Words matter! They are the bedrock of how we connect; they represent our beliefs, morals, and perspectives. Sometimes we speak words; other times we listen. Words set a tone. They voice our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, for good or bad.”

So how can we better use our words at church to connect with others and help them feel God’s love? If you, like me, sometimes struggle with knowing what to say to start a meaningful conversation, here are a few ideas to get started.

Make an Observation

One of the quickest ways to make a connection with someone is to help them feel acknowledged. Starting a conversation with someone at church can be as easy as making a kind observation, such as:

    • “Thank you for the testimony you shared today in sacrament meeting.” 
    • “I appreciated the lesson you gave in Sunday school last week.”
    • “Your musical number really brought the Spirit. Thank you!”
    • “I love singing next to another alto in sacrament meeting, thanks for helping me stay on key!”
    • “Thank you for making sure our family gets a program each week.”

    You can also make statements or give genuine compliments about things you’ve noticed outside of a church context, like:

      • “I saw you gardening in your yard this week. Your flowers look beautiful!”
      • “I really like (your watch, your bag, etc.).”
      • “I see you running every day. You motivate me!”

      Often this is a great way to allow someone to share about something they are interested in while also feeling like someone noticed them. It may even lead you to find some common interests for future conversations!

      Ask a Question

      Leading with a question is the most traditional way to start a conversation. But the questions we ask can make a big difference, as Sister Reyna I. Aburto learned after unknowingly asking an unmarried sister how many children she had.

      It can be easy to overlook or forget that others’ circumstances might be different from our own, which is why having a short list of broad questions can help us have conversations of love and understanding that allow us to get to know others before making assumptions.

      Here are a few ideas:

        • “What was the best/hardest part of your week?”
        • “What is taking up most of your time recently?”
        • “What made you happy this week?”
        • “What are you most proud of accomplishing this week?”
        • “Did you learn or do anything new this week?”

        If you know them a little better, you could even ask some questions about things going on in their life, such as:

          • “How is your (hobby/project) going?”
          • “How is your (child/friend/spouse/pet) doing?”

          Suggest a Plan

          Sometimes church might not be the ideal place for a long conversation. Maybe you have somewhere you need to be quickly, or your kids need your attention. But you can still make a connection!

          Instead of starting a conversation with an open-ended question, make a plan to connect another time. Questions like these are great ways to create future opportunities for conversation where there is a shared activity and more time to talk:

            • “When are you free to go for a walk together?”
            • “Can I drop a favorite treat off at your house this week?”
            • “Would you and your family like to come over for dinner or a game night?”

            No matter how we do it, our church attendance can become more meaningful as we make an effort to connect with others. As we lift and love our neighbors, we can be better disciples of Christ and feel His love in return.

            ▶You may also like: 1 question to ask yourself before church that will help you build friendships

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