The Lone Christian

I’ve known so many. I’ve met so many believers who are alone. Alone in the Body. Alone in their thinking and doctrine. Alone in their expression of church.

We all know them–the person who doesn’t attend church or isn’t part of any church community. The person who walks around feeling isolated even among other Christ-followers. The person who is rejected or misunderstood for whatever reason.

The lone Christian….

But Jesus had so much to say about these people…

He said love them. He said seek them out and love them. He said seek them out, envelope them into your family…His family, and love them.

But what do we so often do? We judge.

Oh, well, there is something wrong with them. They just don’t like other Christians. They aren’t even a Christian. They choose to be alone.

Some of these things might be true, but  I would guess that many are not. I would guess that often they have been made to feel alone and have not chosen loneliness.

I myself spent almost 2 years as a lone Christian. I had the hardest time finding a church where I felt loved and welcomed, even noticed. I had 1, only 1 believing friend. I had no fellowship to speak of. I was wandering the wilderness alone desperately trying to hold onto God.

Eventually, though, I let go. My grip was not strong enough to cling on to Him.

Years later, I realized that without community, without accountability, without the Body, a Christian cannot survive.Lone Christians are easy prey for Satan and no doubt that type of isolation is what he’s after.

We were built for relationship, and not just relationship with God, but with others. We were built for family–His family.

Lone Christians must realize this. They are not suppose to be alone–whatever the excuse, whatever the reasoning. Others in the body must also acknowledge this and attempt to draw those individuals in with love, truth, and grace.

So whether the lone Christian yourself or the person perhaps judging the the lone Christian…none of us were meant to be alone. Ever. God gave us people because He knew we would need, not only Him, but those relationships, as well.

Are you a lone Christian? Why? Have you ever been a lone Christian? What or who drew you back? How should the church respond to those on the “outside”?

41 thoughts on “The Lone Christian”

  1. OK, I’ll probably get flamed for this, but I think a lot of the “lone Christian” aspect comes from the fact most Christians aren’t that different from non-Christians in how they treat other people. They talk a good game but when they have to invest time and effort into truly loving someone else they think that they have more important things to do.

    That’s why a lot of churches are just different cliques and reminiscent of a lot of junior high school hallways.

    1. Jason,
      I wouldn’t totally disagree with you.

      I think you make an interesting point. I would add that many lone Christians are unaware or have never experienced or been exposed to real community. So they don’t know what they are missing. Which is a statement on your original comment.

      If more church bodies operated like Jesus Bride and not like the world, there would be authentic community and those on the outskirts would be drawn in.

    2. I agree, Jason. I’m currently reading a book called, “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” by Peter Scazzero. The author makes an observation similar to the one you make, that evangelical Christians really do not behave or view the world in a manner significantly different from their secular counterparts. His theory is that there is nothing in evangelical Christianity that deals with emotional health – we just expect that an encounter with Jesus is going to magically fix everything in everyone, and often that isn’t the case.

  2. Excellent observations, Nicole.

    Our North American culture is supposedly unique in its tendency to idolize the lone wolf hero, but this really isn’t a beneficial concept, especially in the church.

    I am sure that at various points I have been both the loner or the one judging the other loner.

    You said, “none of us were meant to be alone. Ever. ” I agree. While your observation yesterday about introverts explained the need some of us have to recharge our batteries by being alone, that needs to be a temporary thing.

    I often use the example of an old-fashioned spoke wheel. God is at the hub, and we exist on the spokes. It is not possible to get closer to the hub without also getting closer to the other spokes – the other folks who are getting closer to God.

    In spite of occasional paranoia about how other believers might view me, I try to consistently find some way to press closer in toward other believers. Wish me well in that endeavor.

    1. Ed,
      I like the analogy. And yes, I hadn’t even thought about the lone Christian in relationship to be an introvert. Weird. Too close to me I guess. Too obvious.

      I wrote a post last year about God not being our only source of happiness…that He gave us relationships because He knew He couldn’t or wouldn’t fulfill our need for people.

      I’ll pray that He bless and encourages you as you seek those relationships.

  3. Oh yeah, I’m a major Lone Christian! I do make myself go to church on Sundays and Bible study on Mondays, but I’m actually kind of afraid to really open up to my brothers and sister. I feel like they’ll judge me, so I choose to be alone.

    And then I feel miserable and lonely.

    1. Travis,
      Thank you for your honesty. I just need to ask, have you been hurt by others in the Church before. Why do you fear being judged?

      I’ll be praying for you brother. Seriously. God desires for you to have intimacy, closeness, and to be known. Nothing less.

  4. I’ve been a lone Christian before. I can’t really say I made a chose to be that. There was a community, but it was a community that was so quick to turn on anybody that “stepped out of line.” If I said the wrong thing, asked the wrong question, admit I listened to a band who was not “Christian.” confessed to the “wrong sin”, I knew I would be looked down upon and possibly pushed out. So I was in the community for years, but I kept to myself.

    I eventually realized I wasn’t limited to a community in one specific building, and there was a group of people ready to take me in. I wasn’t alone any more. I can ask questions. I can be honest about my faith, or sometimes lack of it. I can take part in those “sins” that aren’t classified in the Bible.

    I agree with your statement that when I felt alone, I was not exposed to real community.

    1. Brian, I can really relate to your statements about communities where you have to be careful about confessing to the wrong sins for fear of being marginalized or excluded. I have been part of several such communities over the years – sometimes with the negative results that I feared. I now find myself gravitating toward communities that are less judgmental, and where honesty is possible in a greater measure. A community that insists on holding everyone to certain standards eventually leads to dishonesty about lifestyle, hypocrisy, and ultimately an inability of the community to do any real ministry – simply because no one will be honest about the things in their lives that actually need attention.

    2. Brian,
      I am sorry you were in a church where you felt judged and not able to be yourself.

      But I am thankful that you discovered that real community is crucial and now you have it!

  5. Great post and spot on. Ed’s comment about rugged American individualism is an astute observation as well. That has a great deal to do with the evolution of the church in North America over the last several hundred years.

    1. Matt,
      Agreed. I think there could be a whole ‘nother post in there–addressing the individualistic nature of Americans and how it manifests itself in American Christianity.

      Got my wheels turning…

  6. Great post, Nicole.

    I was heavily immersed in Christian community for a number of years, and it was the most rewarding and spiritually rejuvenating time of my life. However, after a year of moving to a new city, I have had trouble finding a new church. I decided right away I wouldn’t “church-hop,” that I would find a church and stick with it. However, the church was less willing to stick with me. I haven’t given up, but I am starting to become disappointed.

    This has been a point of struggle for me, as I’ve been afraid of becoming the lone Christian. Am I “that guy” by choice? No. Are there other choices that I can be making? Probably, but I don’t know.

    1. I can so relate. Finding a church is perhaps one of the biggest catalysts to people feeling alone within the Body. ironic isn’t it?

      I pray that you find a family of believers and a community where you are not only welcomed, but celebrated.

      Don’t give up the search or His heeding. Be encouraged that He has a place for you.

  7. I actually have to say, I kind of feel like a lone Christian even though I’m very involved in my church and have friends in the church. Here’s why: I’m a visionary/prophet/seer gifting, with a heaping portion of supernatural faith mixed in. In a church where, while spiritual gifts are seen as real, don’t really have any evidence of spiritual gifts flowing. When I talk, often what I’m saying is looked at as “odd, weird, strange, out-there”. Like I’m too heavenly-minded. God has given me big dreams and visions concerning this community of believers that I’m involved with – but they can’t seem to get the courage to grab the vision. And yet, I’ve not been released from being in this church body, because a very few are TRYING to understand – trying to truly experience a relationship with God.

    But, when your pastor looks at you like you’re a kook, it can make you feel, well, isolated. ;)

  8. hello my husband and I are in late 40;s in the 21 years we have lived here, not one church person or church has accepted us, i have invited people over and they have all declined, in 21 years and 9 churches not one person has ever made any effort to be a friend to me or my husband. we love the lord and we are born again, but christian people are some of the most cruel mean people I have ever met. I have prayed for years for someone to be nice to us at church but so far nothing. when you treat a christian bad you are treating Jesus like that.

    1. Lisa, I’m so grieved and saddened to hear that you have been so mistreated by so-called “Christians.” It actually makes me angry and I have no doubt it angers the Lord, as well.

      I wish I could give you some magic answer or find some perfect community for you, but alas I cannot. I do hope to encourage you though, Lisa, to not give up seeking a community to belong to. I know it is God’s will and desire and so with that faith, I can attest that God will bring you to that place if you continue to seek after it.

      I will pray for you and your husband to find a place of genuine love, affection, accountability, and relationship. Blessings to you sister.

    2. I know how it is Lisa. I have invested time and money, I am friendly and open and in fact a little exuberant when I meet other Christians but in 27 years of being a Christian I have only encountered very few who are prepared to relate to me and have anything meaningful to do with me. I wonder sometimes whether I’ve got some mark on me that says “avoid”. Just today I caught yet another Christian sneeking away hoping I hadn’t seen them without so much as a greeting. To my knowledge the only “sin” that these people could find me guilty of is the sin of going to sea (and therefore not going to church).

    3. I would suggest that the reason for the declination may be more to do with a lack of Agape than anything any person would be guilty of. I have spent the last 5 years working with and befriending a man that had been rejected by every Christian group, ostensibly because of the difficulties with relating to him and the personal costs involved. Much of the problem lay in the insensitivity, impatience and inability to Love enough of much of the Church. This man now knows the Love of Jesus in his own life thanks to the obediance and sacrifice of a few but is still regarded with suspicion by many. He himself is now able to extend the grace that was extended to him when he needed it.

  9. Nicole, excellent article, thanks for sharing.
    I spent years being a lone Christian. Thankfully that is now not the case having found a wonderful church in my local area. Some possible reasons for being a lone Christian based on my experiences…..

    Bad church experience in childhood.
    Low self esteem.
    Lack of social skills, not wanting to get involved.
    Lack of trust.

    In conclusion until one finds the right church the message of the Bible does not really come to life. The lone Christian ‘does not get it!’


  10. Many lone Christians I know have come to the conclusion that something very essential is missing from American Christianity. Twenty years ago when I was first saved I attended a church where we had unbelievable fellowship, for a time. Everyone was in love with God’s word and what He was doing, with Him. But somehow it slipped away from us. Every church I have ever seen is cyclically racked by scandal. And the New Testament suggests we should expect this. But to be honest, somehow evangelical church has started to seem so hollow to me that I don’t really want my kids raised in that religious paradigm. That makes it really hard to find a place that you feel is not glaringly wrong either doctrinally or in the way they act. Its all about being a middle-class American and living in a McMansion, or it seems to be. I believe that evangelicalism in this country is going to collapse and is in the process of becoming just another mainline flavor of Christianity. Ironically on the love and community side of things the Catholic church seems to have so much more, but then there is the doctrinal baggage. I believe that the Lord allows times like this (John 16) and out of it will arise yet one last revival of true, powerful, loving and holy Christianity. This church will carry the final testimony of this age.

    God bless, and please pray for me. I would so much love to return to some of the times of wonderful fellowship I knew in the past.


  11. I’m definitely a lone Christian, but I’m not really blaming the churches I’ve been in for it, I guess it’s mostly my fault if anyone’s. I don’t come from Christian family and came to faith when I was 21 (I’m 31 now), and I found I church there and was really on fire for God then, and was involved in youth ministry, outreaches attended all parts of the church. I loved the services but I always had difficulty sometimes fully relating to others Christians and I’ve always felt awkward with many Christian gatherings (I’m a pretty socially awkward introvert anyway which doesn’t help ;)), and when I left university and ended up joining another church, I could never connect with anyone. Was a different kind of church with people of numerous views on faith, so it was difficult to get into deep conversations on topics, and no one really had same interests as me in other areas (or were in the same age range :) ) so it was difficult to really make any friendships or connections. I really hated coffee mornings, greetings, getting into groups etc, because nothing makes me feel more alone then being so obviously isolated in a group of people. They did try, but I really was always relieved when church was over, added to this the fact I was suffering from scrupulosity (a religious OCD condition) through this period in which I honestly believed I was cut of from God for constant blasphemous thoughts and feelings I kept having but dare not talk to anyone about (not realising what it was) ended up with me feeling I just had to get away. So I then spent 7 years effectively away from Christ, and am only in this last year following Him again (aided by finding out what actually wrong with me, and that there are others suffering the same thing I do) but now I don’t really have a Bible-believing church I can reach, so I’m kinda going it alone at the moment.

    To some extent I guess there is a part of me (my introvert nature) which prefers it this way as well, I use online church services and podcasts to have some connection, but I don’t really know any Christians so I know I slip back sometimes into gossip and negative talk of others at work and such that I know I shouldn’t do. So I know I need to find some church or community to be a part of, but I can’t really find any (and the last time I tried I felt more alone and isolated then I do now, so I don’t know if it will even help).

    1. Grant I can totally relate to you and understand you well. I suffered from religious OCD and unwanted blasphemous thoughts to the point of being at the verge of madness. I have also been rejected and lonely in most churches I have been part of. Including the church I grew up at in my childhood.This has been so ddevastating, I have tried to be friendly, humble, kind, smiley, talkative. But I always find myself being excluded and avoided. It really hurts. Now I’m 29 and a have not even one close friend. I made two friends, one dude that was going through the same as me but I moved so I couldn’t hang around anymore, other than that I always seemed to be likeable to much older men. I am always rejected by people of my age. So far the best solution I’ve found is to ignore that and be aware that that is how God has created me and maybe there is a purpose for it that will favor me in the long run.

  12. In regards to your silly comments Grant stop complaining that u are a loner when u inittually wanted to be alone yourself. you are a self centred selfish man. Here I am in Australia dying to get a proper church fellowship but the people simply IGNORE me like I dont exist as I HATE being a LONER like youself as I HATE my own company where as u dont hate your own company therefore I truly suggest THAT YOU STICK 2 YOUR OWN SELF and stop COMPLAINING.

  13. To Grant.

    When you have these Christians at you disposal then refuse to spend time with them cos u don’t like morning groups, being together, etc, then why do u want people to pray for u? Your prayer has already been answered as you have already had the company that you lacked, then on top of all that u refuse it?

    Which is it Grant? You want ur own company or the company of ur fellow brothers and sisters company, u choose!!

    Stop complaining as we don’t like hearing this from u as u don’t make any sense.

  14. To some extent you guess there is a part of you (your introvert nature) which prefers it this way as well. Now let me tell you Grant that why would u prefer to be an INTROVERT & start blaming it on your nature when its really you being that INTROVERT person. Then why do you use online church services and podcasts to have some connection, even if you don’t really know any Christians so you know you slip back sometimes into gossip and negative talk of others at work and such that you know you shouldn’t do. Dont u think u should REPENT to God on how you gossiped about others at your work? God did give u a heart to reflect on the NEGATIVE things u said against people at your workplace Grant. So you already had a good church or community to be a part of, but you really didnt want it as you preferred your own company.

  15. I have been a lone Christian for about two years now. I am only 16 years old right now. Three years ago my parents got divorced. Most kids take a divorce pretty rough, but I felt like it was coming and I was kind of prepared for it. The only way I really reacted to that was I shut my parents out of my life. My mom doesn’t want to be my mom and so I just kind of put a wall up between us. My dad on the other hand, cares about me but he is overly caring. My only brother I’ve never opened up with about anything. I had alot of friends before all this started but I switched schools and I was depressed and didn’t make many new friends. I still felt like I had some friends tho and I was loved by someone. I was a pretty weak Christian before all this happened but this tribulation strengthened my faith. After living as a divorced child for awhile, I met a girl I liked. Only after a few hours of talking to her she became my best friend. We talked everyday all day and texted each other all the time. She was just as lonley as I was. Her mom is abusive and strict and she doesn’t have a dad. We began to fall in love. We started sharing more and more about our innerselves and revealing our secrets. She told me she was suicidal and cut herself and tried to kill herself on several occasions. I started sharing the Word with her and she became strengthened in her faith. I talked her down from suicide multiple times. It is because of me that she is alive and trying to live happily. After spending every second if my spare time with her, I realized I have no more friends and my family is very distant. As of now I have no one but her. I sit alone in class, eat in a teachers classroom surfing lunch cuz I have no one to sit with, and I sit silently until I can go home to more loneliness. All I really want is just for people to care about me. Someone to talk to. A friend. I don’t like the church my dad makes me attend because it’s full of strangers who treat me as a shadow and pretend that I am not there. This is my lone Christian story and I am still trying to find love. My advice to you is if you see somone sitting alone frequently, it’s not because they want it, it’s cuz they feel alone. I hope you will go up and just talk to them, be their friend, no matter who they are. That’s what I would love to happen to me.

  16. hi my name is juanitta, i am a loner christian and reason that is is because i have always been a loner. i have never fit in anything. when i was a child i was sexualy abused so i was withdrawn. i have dealt with depression, suicide attempts (i don’t do that anymore by the grace of god) been through 4 marriages (looking for love in all the wrong places) . and many other problems but the biggest problems i have had with the churches i have been to is that like the kids in school, is that they never could understand me. i have been made to feel like i don’t belong in there perfect world. that is how they made me feel. i have issues but i am dealing with them through the love christ has for me. he loves even if no one else will not even so called christians. people don’t understand the pain people like me have to go through and when we ask for help and or some kind of understanding of our situations of what has happened to us and where was god or why did it happen to us , we get swept to the side like we are trash. not worth the effort or they just don’t have time to help . people like us are not worth the time and that was how i was made to feel. i have backslid so many time because of how i was treated. i felt like garbage and not worth anything but i know now that my lord god loves me no matter what people thinks of me. he loves me he love everyone and i choose to forgive. i do forgive but i refuse to go to a church that don’t follow the love of christ for ALL types of people no matter what we must love each other . hold each other pray, help, lift each other up and yes even discipline each other when necessary with love and kindness. churches that don’t follow his commandments i will not go to and surprisingly enough there are less churches of real christ like love. it is hard to find now and days. not only that i now take care of my mom and dad and they are in there 70’s and my mom needs supervision . well my the lord bless you all

  17. I agree with Nicole in the fact that sometimes lone Christians can be made to feel isolated. For example, I have yet to find that group that I belong in. Some of the things people and pastors in church have told me are that “I question too much” or “You dont need an answer, just believe” or “How many people have you saved?”. On the spiritual level I feel doubt and questions help to strengthen the Christian relationship but I have been turned away because of it or isolated because I can make people feel uncomfortable with my doubt and questions. So I applaud all the lone Christians out there and I hope we can all find a loving church home soon!

  18. I am a Lone Christian by circumstance. For YEARS I had been fellowshipping, going to church, etc. Then one day I realized that fellowship truly beings where Jesus said “Where there are two or three gathered in My name, I will be in their midst”. I wondered if the missing link was actually establishing friendships and relationships with the very people I went to church with and um…apparently, regardless of congregation, no luck AT ALL.

    Now I live in Florida with my wife and daughter and I kid you not, my wife is the closest thing to agape I ever experience now. After all the failed attempted to bond beyond church building walls, work, school, etc, I’ve given up. :-(

  19. I think that in the American Evangelical Church there is far too much elitism, cliquishness, and this does contribute some of what causes Lone Christians. I have been one for years and still am one, and it is something that causes me a great deal of pain in my life, to where I have been in counseling before and will likely return.

    When you are in the midst of a Christian gathering, and the speaker just finished talking about unity and fellowship of believers only SECONDS before, and then you walk past a christian believer that YOU KNOW and that KNOWS YOU as a causal aquaintance, whom you have never wronged and they have never wronged you…and you smile and greet them from only about 2 feet away from their face, BUT THEY turn their head with a cold expression and do not greet you, and do this not one, but twice in the span of a few minutes…DURING a ministry event…well, this is a type of behavior from believers in Christ towards other believers in Christ that I do not understand…and I tell God this. I tell God that I do not understand these actions, and these behaviors, and I ask God is this what your church is? Random rejection of some individuals for absolutely no reason, on a regular basis, in the church? I have experienced this and seen this in various churches and christian communities and Christian colleges….and it hurts. It drives me away from people and I have stopped saying hello to others and avoided Christians altogether.

  20. Reading all your post helps me to carry on rejected or accepted.
    In the last few months, I have felt an implosion with my emotions and
    hurts and rejection from the past to haunt my present. Being a writer
    and used to isolation further drives me away from having deeper connections. I have concluded that I embrace rejection as a way of being trained in the army of God to understand how Jesus was severely rejected by his own people; who he created. Any amount of rejection I have ever had can NEVER compare to how he suffered for humanity. There is a beautiful old song by Larnell Harris called Friends in high places” that I would sing over myself when rejection from others became unbearable, would help me through that season even scriptures and “believing” who I am in Jesus Christ. I could puck myself back up and move onward and tell myself that I am loved by my eternal family. I reserve those earthly relationships for eternal community where it will perfect in His kingdom.
    I encourage all of you to seek first the kingdom of God and All things( even true friend/friends) shall be added unto you. Love yourself and be focused on what plans he has for your life. Remember what Jesus said about John the Baptist who lived in the wilderness and was used to being a loner at times that he was the greatest that has ever been here on earth. We need to count it all joy and be open for who God brings into our lives. Eternal love to all you beautiful masterpieces of God!

  21. I think I’m a lone Christian. I currently attend a small bible study but it feels they are trying to get rid of me as well. I do love the Lord, but I have experienced a bad relationship that pretty much destroyed me and I am trying to find my way again. I NEED people right now, because I would be completely alone if I didn’t have that group. I feel stuck in between the rock and a hard place. I can’t and don’t want to join people at the bar, or offer myself for sex in order to have some kind of companionship, and I do not know where I belong or what church to go to. I find that I am very sensitive to people’s hearts. I spend a lot of time alone, therefore in prayer almost constantly. I’m repenting, and considering the condition of my own heart, then get around other Christians who don’t seem to give a crap about the condition of theirs or if they act like the world does. Weren’t we called to be different? I know that Jesus changes us, but I’ve read the bible and it also tells us that we are supposed to do certain things to stop certain things in us. ugh. I try to mind my own business, and I try not to judge, but when I feel judged, then I tend to get a bit upset about it. And I pray, pray pray. Someone mentioned Emotional healing. Funny because that is what I am currently learning about… emotional resources. Regardless, I am human and I need to interact with people, but I have no idea where to find someone (safe).

  22. Hi I just came across your post through looking around the internet. I am feeling isolated at the moment and rejected by other christians at my church. My pastor is great, and I have an elderly friend who is also very caring and loving. I try to fit in with others at the church but they really dont pay much attention to me. They dont ring me or come around, I have asked a few people over to my house over the past six years we have been at the church, but they all say they are too busy. yet they go to each others houses. They icnore my messages on facebook. My girls felt the same way, they have left the Lord now which is not good. Thankyou God Bless

  23. it is hard to find people who understand me and my faith. i have been they call a loner . i pray a lot and help people when there is an opportunity to do so. i take care of my elderly parents. but it is hard feeling i am alone.

  24. the Lord is my shepherd. He guides me where i need to go. He loves me and you.. both of of my posts is for tracy and anyone else who need it God bless

  25. I am almost 50, all my family is dead, I have lived in complete isolation for over 8 years now. I have tried going to 33 different churches in my area, I have contacted 71 Mission Organizations tring to become a part of something.
    I can’t take the abuse, lies, false doctrines, and sociopathic behaviors of American Christians. Their apathy makes atheist hate have ground to stand on. I am all alone on the Earth and not even anyone to bury me with my family in the family plot out of State. Not 1 of over 3,000 Christians including Pastures I tell my plight to can even say I am sorry for your loss. I have more of the Bible memorized than most of the Christians I have met even read… My phone never rings..After I beg to give me something to do, I got all the time in the world. But get this, their excuse is always the same ” They were too busy” ! You want to blame me for staying away from a pit of vipers.. Tell you what, I live in the Belt Buckle of the Bible Belt.. Put Ecclesastes 4:10 into action and show pity ( MERCY) !! Not the liberal relative thinking that say’s it means let him die.

    My only prayer now is ” God show me one, just one that knows you” And doesn’t lie like a drunk drinks.

    I do need a place to belong.. But until they Worship the God of the Bible, and not verbal Empty Platitudes with Schizophrenic derision of everything good…

    I got my radio, and Bible. I don’t need their self rationalizing of abuse.

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