In our everyday lives, some of us naturally connect with new people on a daily basis. Random moments lead to interactions, conversations, even friendships. Others of us find it much more difficult to connect with new people, perhaps even feeling anxious at the very thought of it. These differences can be based on personality preferences, the types of work or activities we do, or any number of other reasons – none of which are necessarily good or bad.
I came across a post by Phillip Howell called Connecting with a People Group, it was based on a workshop he lead about working cross-culturally. What he shared is helpful in regards to connecting with new people in general, whether you are interested in cultural connections or not.
Here are Phillip’s practical tips to be intentional about building new relationships and sharing the life and love of Jesus Christ along the way. This is Green Tables stuff!
1. Be a regular by going to the same place for gas, groceries, coffee, haircuts, and eating out. Try to get to know the staff on a personal level.
2. Explore different parts of the community, city, or county. Find things to do in places you have not yet explored. Shop in a different part of town or try a new coffee house. Go to local restaurants that capture the local culture.
3. Pray each day for a people group. The more you pray for people groups, the more you will love them, the people and their culture. God supernaturally does a work in you heart!
4. Sports! Become a fan of the sports that the people group likes and go to all their games. Or, get involved with their sports club and join or coach a team.
5. Embrace their history. Learn the historical narrative in order to better understand them and what they have experienced.
6. Be a part of the people groups community. Live where they live. Go to their local festivals, concerts, or fundraisers. Participate missionally. Strike up conversations. Pray for the people you encounter.
7. Engage in a hobby or activity they have. Tai Chi, Cooking, Walking, Drinking Bubble Tea, etc…
8. Make them a relationship not a project or a program. People come to Christ through relationships more than they do events.
9. Learn and listen. As you live with them learn and listen to them.