At Interns class last Monday we were issued a challenge by our instructor: To seek out and talk to at least three people that we didn't know. Like many people in the class, I just thought, "Great, I'll be worrying about this all week!", but then as I drove home, I decided to take it as a challenge. As I said to my Interns class this week, as introverted as I am, I am even more competitive, and so when a challenge is issued, I take it on 100%.
So I went to church last Sunday, early as usual since I was playing Keys for the umpteenth week in a row (but I get a break on the 21st - YAY!), and I planned my strategy. First, I broke the ice by finding someone that I didn't know, but that I knew was on a team (since she had a Welcome Home t-shirt on). It was tough enough just approaching someone I didn't know, but it worked out fine, I met her four kids, took them to kids' class, and all was great - I had a new friend!
First service began, and I thought, "Hey, I can do this" and I was so pumped through the worship set. After first service I sought out some more people, looking for someone brand new, but I kept finding people who had been attending our church for a year or two on and off. With three services, it's so hard to know everyone! I still had good conversations with them, and continued to pat myself on the back for stepping out of my comfort zone.
Because it was our CD Release day, Jeremy was giving out three CDs per service to brand new people, so during second service I looked to see who he gave the CDs and targeted one of the couples at the back of the sanctuary. At the end of the second service I saw they were getting ready to leave, so I just put on my best "Jen Blackwood Face" (Jeremy's wife who is always super positive), and walked up to them and said, "So, you are one of the lucky ones who got a free CD!" They were a very nice couple, maybe in their late 50s or early 60s, and we had a good chat. They had been church hunting for a while and really enjoyed our service (dub step and all!).
I was totally pumped after I met this couple, and then thought, "I'm going to meet Skye!" Skye was a young man from Amsterdam who was getting Baptized on Sunday (it was a very full Sunday!) and I only knew his face from the Baptism videos, but I also knew he was in the Discovery 101 class, which was ending as second service ended. So, I hopped over to their classroom and introduced myself to him and congratulated him on his Baptism. As I played keys as the Baptisms were happening right in front of me, I was so happy that I had met him.
As I explained to my class this week, it was tough and didn't really get easier as the morning continued, but I just felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit and thought, "What's the worst that can happen?" Honestly, most people who walk into a church are looking for some sort of connection, and as JD said in class, maybe one person taking a minute to say hi and shake their hand could make a huge difference in someone's life.
I just hope I keep remembering, week after week, to step out in obedience.