Have I mentioned that this whole church starting thing is hard work?
The part I’m finding most difficult right now is making initial connections with people—the cold-turkey, how’s it going, who are you, what do you do kinds of conversations.
Sure, I’m a pretty gregarious person, but it takes a little while before that crazy guy can come out of his shell. I was that way in junior high; high school; college; grad school; and what do you know, I’m still that way.
I’m not sure exactly why it’s so hard for me. It’s probably partly because I’m such a people pleaser. I want people to like me. I want to say the right things. I want to be cool. I don’t want people to think I’m a religious salesman.
Perhaps it’s hard because I don’t just want to have conversations with people; I want to have spiritual conversations with people. Spirituality/religion is a particularly private thing in our culture. It’s one of two things you don’t talk about (politics the other) unless you’re prepared to get in a fight.
I’m finding, however, that these kinds of conversations are much less daunting when there’s a more natural reason to have them, outside of the obvious reason of connecting with people along the wavelength of spirituality.
Conversations take place more naturally when I’m on a flag football team with people, or at a civic organization meeting, or at dinner, rather than after someone opens the door when I’ve randomly knocked on it.
Yet it’s still hard in more natural contexts. I’ve found myself sitting on the couch before going to engagements where I would meet new people trying to think of excuses for not going. [I’m laughing at myself as I type this.]
That’s right, I’m a church starter. I’m supposed to have a knack for this kind of thing. Yeah…I feel under-qualified for the job sometimes.
At the end of the day, it’s worth all the inner turmoil. It’s worth the challenge. I get the privilege, after all, to engage people concerning the most important kinds of things in the whole world.
Perhaps you’re like me…why do we have such a hard time with this?