Helping a Friend in a Crisis of Faith

Have you had the experience of someone you know leave the faith you both profess?  The common word used in Christian (Pentecostal actually) circles is backslide. What sometimes happens is that you notice they may not attend church like before, or they seem to avoid you, unlike before when you were always in each other’s hair. It can be gradual or drastic and they might not say anything outright, other times they might. In some instances, they may tell you they no longer want to be friends with you. Other times, they could categorically state they’re no longer interested in church and things associated with it. There are those that might point out you can remain friends, in spite of their recent departure.

I do know that everyone has seasons where they might question certain aspects of their faith, the part they’re playing, what God is doing and much more. This means they might stop doing some things or even want to be around certain people. If you’re friends, real friends with such an individual I think it’s the time both parties discover just how much that relationship means to either one. This will be hard on both parties and their experience will no doubt differ. Whether the friendship survives is dependent on many factors and the people involved. There are various things you can do to help your friend going through a crisis of faith.  

Don’t judge or condemn them – you don’t know the details and even if they tell you, you might not understand it from their perspective.

Support and be there for them – they may or may not want to talk about it. It’s fine either way and even if it’s not fine with you…learn to be fine with it.

Pray for them – prayer is never wasted and according to scripture makes power available to change things.

Let them talk about it in their own time - be sensitive and discerning if invited to discuss it with them. On the other hand, they might not want to talk about it and you must respect their boundary and keep it off the table.

This discussion by the Perrys served as fodder that inspired this piece.

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