I’ve been reading Introducing the Missional Church and the most recent chapters have been about engaging your neighborhood. What that means is befriending your neighbors, listening to the story of their life and then discerning where the Spirit is moving in their life – how is God working to draw them to Him. The idea, then, is that you join in with what God is doing – addressing specific needs in their life.
A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to meet some families in our neighborhood at our daughter’s Daisy (Girl Scouts) Vest Ceremony. It was really cute. A bunch of other kindergartners stood in a line and received little green vest they will soon be forming a daisy on with with “petals” they earn. The ceremony included an informal carry in dinner and families were invited. What a great opportunity to make some new friends!
To make a long story short, I chickened out. There were about 7 or 8 families there, including a handful of other Dads. I didn’t introduce myself to one person. And I was very disappointed in myself.
I am a self-diagnosed closet extrovert who grew up thinking he was an introvert. I never learned good conversation skills and the thought of initiating a conversation – especially on the phone – causes me mild anxiety. But when I finally get into a conversation, I am very energized. My dad never knew a stranger and I remember him always chatting it up in line at the grocery store. I really hope that is hiding in me somewhere.
So anyway… I was really hoping to make some new friends there but, alas, I let a prime opportunity slip away. We did chat with a family on the way out but I still did not learn any names. Why is it so hard for me to go up to someone and say “Hi, my name is Ben, what’s yours?” I know there are a number of tricks out there to help fellas like me. My friend Jared, who is a Marine Recruiter (until his recent promotion) told me to remember F.O.R.M – Family, Organization, Recreation, Music. 4 areas of life to ask questions of. But my first hurdle is working up the nerve to initiate the conversation.
Give me an email or a blog and I’ll talk your ear off.
Do any of you have the same problem? Any tips or encouragement you have would be appreciated! 🙂