There have been a large number of new faces around our Church lately. It often leads to a statement like, “I just don’t know everyone.” I understand the sentiment when we see people and we want to connect to them as a believer, but I also know the harm.
I believe most people want to “know about” people far more than they want to “know” people. The Church is to be a place where people really get to know one another on a deeply personal level. We need relationships with people who know what makes us laugh and what makes us cry. They are connected to us in a way that gives support and encouragement to our spiritual journey. It is far more than just knowing our name and a few things about us.
So how do we get those kinds of relationships in a Church with all these new people?
1. Pray and Be Aware – I know this sounds simple, but it is still the best answer. Ask God to help you to connect with other people. Then look around at who he has brought into your life. This might be a coworker or the person who sits next to you during Church. Ask and then seek.
2. Walk Slowly Through the Crowd – If you run in late and leave in a rush, you will never connect to people. Give yourself time to talk and visit with anyone you can.
3. Share Your Name, Ask their Name and Work to Remember – I admit that this is tough for me. I am getting a little better. I really try to say their name at least twice and then connect it to something memorable. I think, “John and he has a new wife.” Then the next time you see them say their name and ask about their new wife.
4. Invite, Invite, Invite. Invite people out to eat, over to your house, to a ball game. Invite people into your life.
5. Serve Beside Someone – This is often overlooked. If you spend an hour in the nursery with someone, you usually get to know them. Spend an hour or two doing anything and you get to know the people serving with you.
These are simple little ways to connect. There are dozens more and maybe you have something to share with all of us that we can learn from. These are ways to open the door to new relationships.
Here is what I know: You need to connect deeply with other believers. You need to know at least one person and rarely will anyone have more than 12 people. Forget trying to know everyone in the Church. It will only make you frustrated. Focus on knowing a few people deeply. Be nice to everyone and get connected to someone.