This Sunday our pastor asked me to do the welcome and kick off the “connecting time” (aka the greeting time) during the service. For a church who places a high value on authenticity, I knew several people who felt like this was the least authentic time of the entire morning. Other friends had recently mentioned that they downright just didn’t like that part of the service because it felt so awkward.
So for several days, I felt stuck in a dilemma. How do you encourage people to engage in something that – for the most part – they dislike doing? And really, why DO we do carve out that time? Do we expect to develop meaningful relationships in the two minutes we have?
I recently read a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Ann Voskamp, about the power of naming. I’ve thought about what she says for some time now, and as I was pondering this whole issue of the connecting time, the pieces, well, connected. Ann talks about the power that comes with giving something a name. That in the act of naming something, it begins to take form. To have identity. To become known.
And so when we take one or two minutes to get to know someone’s name or a few seemingly small details about a couple, they become more than “the brown-headed girl who sat next to us” or “that couple with the tiny baby.” It truly becomes a time of connecting, albeit the first step in connecting. Little by litte, we become known to one another.
So, what I learned this Sunday is that the connecting time actually matters.
How about you?