As our church continues to grow, there is a growing concern amongst the leadership that newcomers could easily go unnoticed, getting lost in the crowd that fills the lobby before and after each Sunday service. To help prevent this from happening, our elders have encouraged members to approach people we don’t know, introduce ourselves, and strike up a conversation. Apparently, they know the human tendency to settle into a “comfort zone” of familiar faces. As a way to move us out of those comfort zones, our lead pastor put it this way: “Get over yourself, and get to know somebody!”
I’ve been really challenged by the whole “get over yourself” thing. It’s not that I think I’m better than anyone else or somehow above needing to introduce myself to unfamiliar people. It’s more some sort of insecurity that the introduction will be awkward and the conversation strained. To help me through this, I’ve decided to volunteer as a greeter at church. (Surely if it’s my job to speak to people I’ll find more confidence!)
…Or maybe I should just watch my 2-year old son….
I took the kids to the park today, and my heart was warmed as I watched Abel interact with other preschoolers. With the greatest of confidence, innocence, and joy, Abel engaged in play and conversation with people he’s never met before and likely will never meet again. As I watched, I wondered how something that my toddler does by nature could be so difficult for me–and probably for adults in general. I suppose it goes back to the alienation which resulted from The Fall. The unstrained, untainted fellowship which naturally occurs between Abel and his peers must be a picture of what God intended for our relationships with each other.
So, once again, God has used my children to teach me something. Okay, so maybe watching Abel run around the playground with strangers won’t actually supply me with confidence; but it does show me an innocence to strive for!