Woke up at 2:30 this morning (of course) realizing that it's been awhile since I asked anyone that most vital of questions...
"So, what's your story?"
We have "history" as a core value in our community- partly to help us remember that we're not new- that though we started our church 6 years ago, we're really a part (and certainly not the latest/greatest part) of something that's been going on for 2,000 years.
But we also want that value to remind us of something else- and that's people's individual history, their story, and its importance.
Too often I find myself trying to connect with new acquaintances by asking a few ice-breaker questions, and then falling back on old reliable: Telling them about me. Or my iPhone. Usually my iPhone... But I digress.
On Sundays. as I try to connect with people who are visiting our community, the same dynamic often happens- though instead of telling them about myself, I'm trying to tell them about Evergreen, ask if they have any questions... and totally missing the most important way I could connect with them.
I knew a guy once that really struggle to build relationships and friendships. He was a nice enough guy, but no one seemed very interested in talking with him. And there was a simple reason- he was a one-trick pony, conversationally. Anything you said would trigger a story he had about something that at one time had happened to him. They were often funny enough stories- but in lieu of anything else, any other personal interest in the other person, they were a conversation (and so a relationship) killer.
So last night, I realized... I've been becoming a version of that. Eager to tell people about me and mine, less eager to ask them about them and theirs (so to speak...)
I need to remember- there are a number of things that people want to know about me or about my community. But the thing they want to know first, and above everything else is: Do you care about who I am?