When I was in student ministry I learned something about myself. Wednesday nights were crazy, fun, and insanely energetic. I felt a little bit like a rock star to be honest with you. We talked a lot about building relationships with teenagers, and ,in my opinion, did a pretty good job of it. However, looking back I think it could have gone even deeper relationally. What I learned about myself is that it is easier for me to say “Hello!” to 50 people than “How are you doing?” to one person.
It’s kind of like the difference between good and great. Telling people “Hi!” is good. You acknowledge them, show them that you realize they are there, and in most cases really are glad to see them. But to take that to a meaningful conversation by asking, “How are you doing?” begins to journey toward great. I understand that you can get a shallow response to this question, and it’s not the phrase itself that has the power. The point is, instead of running around just acknowledging everybody you take the time to get into one person’s business (in a good way). The relational leverage lies in your proving to them that you really do care. After all, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
This isn’t limited to student ministry. There are people that we run across everyday at work, at lunch, at the gym, at school, etc. that need to know that someone really cares. Our calling is to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves”. Seems like a logical conclusion then to say reach out to your neighbors and ask them, “How are you doing? LET’S DO THIS!!