Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Breaking into a new group....

Jordan and I attended a potluck with people who share a common interest, but whom we had never met. Both of us had a bit of trouble breaking into the group. Jordan stuck close to me at first, except when he was getting food.  The hostess introduced him to a group of kids his age, but they basically ignored him.
I saw a cat hiding behind the stove and pointed him out to Jordan, who then asked another child the cat's name and ended up in a series of one-on-one conversations.

I, on the other hand, remained stuck on my own. The adults all seemed to be in tightly closed groups and I just didn't know how to get involved.

Then Jordan asked me how long it had taken me to read the Harry Potter series. "About 5 years", I said, "because when I started they hadn't all come out."

A teenager just entering the room spoke up. "It was the same for me. I started reading them when book four was just published..."

That led to a long and interesting conversation, that traversed the world of fantasy from J.K. Rowling to Stephen King and Steampunk. It was a great chat and it didn't seem to matter that I was an outsider. This is why I am in youth ministry. (One reason, anyway.)

Eventually, I ended up talking with his parents and exchanging contact information so that Jordan can get together with the teen's younger brother. Perhaps we will become friends with the whole family...

Have you ever found yourself unable to break into a group? What happened in the end?

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