Pastor Terri Hansen: Connections Part 2
“Don’t talk to strangers!” might be good advice to give our children in today’s world, but what about us adults? When we find ourselves looking someone we have never met in the eye on a Sunday morning or at a community church event, are you quick to approach them and introduce yourself? Or do you say, “That’s not my gift or my job. I’ll leave that to others and the pastors.”
We want to encourage you to think of yourselves as hosts and hostesses of the greatest party on earth – The Kingdom of God. Can you find it in yourself to approach a stranger with a warm smile and a genuine interest in finding out who they are, and what brings them to this place? Hospitality and friendship go hand in hand. Genuine interest, being welcoming, non-intrusive questions and thoughtful listening are the building blocks for friendship, open doors, real connection and relationship.
Our recent theme for Central is “Connections.” The Midway has two beautiful, new apartment buildings opening up in our back yard. We have a fun, non-threatening parking lot event this Sunday evening, where we anticipate opportunities to connect with friends old and new- friends yet to be made. We not only desire to make good and life-giving connections with each other on Sundays, but to be open to all who cross our path inside and outside of the church doors.
“I don’t know how to do that,” you might be saying. Here are just a few tips from the new book, Real Connections, by Joy Skjegstad and Heidi Unruh:
· Be welcoming – friendly, make the first move
· Be genuinely interested – ask good, leading, but non-intrusive questions
· Be a good listener – look for common ground and connections
· Be open – share yourself and your information without taking over the conversation
· Be appreciative – let them know you were happy to meet them and get to know them
We all have something of real value to share with the world. Be confident! Take a risk! Make a real connection today!