Do you like coffee? Do you like the atmosphere of the little shop or the hustle and bustle of people coming and going and wonder what their stories are?
Do you work out at the gym or go out for walks at the park? Do you go at the same time and recognize some of the same people who are there the same time as you?
Do you like to unwind at the end of the day or week by getting a nice cold one or sipping on a delicious, local wine? Do you ever see someone sitting alone and wonder why they are alone?
Are any of the above you?
Do you ever work up the courage to actually say something to someone or listen without expecting anything in return? Do you take time to put yourself second so someone else can be first? Do you?
In a world where everyone seems to be isolated by ear buds, closed off by window blinds, and house entry is behind the closed garage door, how do you get to know people? In a world where Facebook posts show what fun everyone is having and Pinterest shows perfection, how do you get to know people? Here are 4 ways to be courageous and go out on a limb and meet people.
- Be aware: If you take notice of your surroundings, you will find something that you can work into an icebreaker to start a conversation. Notice things around you such as:
- the appetizer or drink you haven’t tried yet, comment on their outfit (color, shoes, earrings, etc.), the weather, the sunrise, their cute dog, whatever is on the TV, a play on the field
- Be open: Instead of looking closed off with an imaginary ‘do not disturb’ sign on, make yourself accessible. Open up by:
- opening your shades, sit on the front porch, use your front door, uncross your arms, take out the ear buds, put your phone away, take off your sunglasses
- Be friendly: The old saying goes, turn that frown upside-down. This is an action like:
- smiling, laughing together, not being short or rude with someone, taking a moment to stop what you are doing and recognizing someone
- Be quiet: Don’t always be loudest voice and realize your opinion isn’t always the best. In the quiet, learn to:
- listen without judging, be present in the conversation, offer your experience in a similar situation without judgment or opinion
You have to realize that doing these things probably won’t turn you and that other person into life long friends overnight. But, in that moment, you are offering yourself as someone who is kind, someone who cares, and someone who wants to be there. You have the power to impact lives around you. This is what my book, The Coffee Shop Pastor, is all about. You don’t know how your meeting with someone will change their lives. We have a responsibility to make disciples without being all religious. Being aware, open, friendly, and quiet are easy ways to get people to let their guard down and let them know that you are interested in them as a person. Check out my book and use the questions at the end to guide you so you are ready to be a courageous version of the coffee shop pastor.