I'm not a great conversationalist. I know this. Some people seem to have the gift of it (my dad, for instance), but I find it difficult.
Still, I try hard to talk to new people at church. Since Dave coordinates the music, we're usually among the first few to arrive. And visitors often arrive earlier than regulars. So if I don't have a specific job keeping me busy, introducing myself to newcomers has become a habit.
I'm still not good at it. But I'm getting better, and I figure most people would rather have a short and awkward conversation than sit by themselves for half an hour. And having a cute baby in my arms is certainly helpful.
But as I was lying awake last night, thinking of church that morning, I was challenged to do more. Yes, it's good to chat to people, to put them at their ease, to find out about them. But it would be so much better to turn their thoughts to Jesus.
That's the bit I find REALLY hard. Talking to kids about Jesus? No problem. Talking to adults, even a stranger who may be a Christian already, or very receptive to the gospel? Yikes.
Maybe I need to find a good opening question for after we've done the initial introductions. Something with 'Jesus' in it, not just 'church'. Suggestions?