This could be the most awkward thing your group does or it could be a gold mine of perfection. It could be the quiet kids worst nightmare or it could be their saving grace and actually get to know someone. You wont know until you try it.
This is something we started to do here at Saddleback HSM. This past week we introduced a 1 minute greeting right before the message. We put 1 minute on the screen and told everyone to meet someone new who was sitting next to them, and then when the time was up they would sit down and the speaker would be all set up and ready to go.
We were super weary and nervous about how it would go because it is something that has never been done in this ministry before. To our pleasant surprise, when we announced that they had one minute to meet someone…THEY ACTUALLY DID IT! It was pretty great, we saw this huge community building time evolve right in front of our eyes. When the time was over, they were just getting into it, so the next weeks we will be adding a minute for a 2 minute greeting time.
You can place it where ever you think it would best fit with your service, we ourselves are going to try to move it around the service to see where it best fits. The 2 minutes is all it takes for a new student, or maybe a quiet student, to get connected and actually KNOW and MEET someone before they leave. One of the main reasons why new people (in bigger groups at least) do not want to come back is because they did not make a connect with anyone while they were there.
The 2 Minute Greeting time worked for HSM in these ways:
- It brought down the awkward approach of a student you do not know. If the title of this section is “Greeting Time” they then know that a leader coming up to them is not a creeper but wants to meet them during “Greeting Time”.
- It allowed the HSM staff and our weekend volunteers make connections to the students around them that they were not able to make before the service. With all our volunteers and staff spread out throughout the crowd, we are able to cover so much more ground, making sure we are making a connection with as many students as possible.
- You can either start a really great conversation with someone next to you, or you can try to meet and know as many names as possible during the 2 minutes.
- It creates a sense of community in the room because we try to make it clear to make sure everyone needs to say hi and meet 1 person so everyone feels connected.
- Students like to socialize, and typically will if you give them a chance. So why not give them a chance during service where you can join them in that time.
Something huge (a relationship, a time of prayer, etc.) can come out of something as small as a connection made during a 2 minute greeting time. So I think it is worth it.
Do you have something like this? How does that look? Would this not work in your group? What are hesitations for you? Let me know!