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Recently I have relocated with my family. If you have ever done it, you know it isn’t an easy thing. You have to get to know the new area, get used to your new home that doesn’t have air conditioning (okay, maybe just me), find a new church, make new friends, etc. It is not a fun thing…and being an introvert doesn’t help.

I have lived in this new area for a few months now, and have made leeway on a lot of these adjustments; I know the area pretty well, I don’t get lost anymore and I know where to get food, all the important stuff right? I also have gotten used to the new house, and not having air conditioning is not as bad as I thought it would be due to a nice cool breeze we generally get from the ocean (its about 30 mins away). So I’m adjusting pretty well…but still, finding the right church and making friends my age…well, I guess that is where I am now.

I have tried quite a few churches and college groups, but none really felt “right” or stood out to me. That was until this last one I tried. I attended the Sunday service with my family on , well, Sunday. I was definitely impressed with the service. I don’t think it is something I can put a finger on….I guess I just felt I could feel the heart of the church, and it felt sincere. But what really stood out to me was directly after the service.

Like I said above, I am definitely an introvert (shy…quiet). I don’t know what signals I give off to others, but I’m sure its not “HEY, COME TALK TO ME!”. Anyways,  much to my surprise, right after service got out, as I was leaving, this guy stopped me and introduced himself. Now, I don’t know if he has some sort of super power radar thing that detects new people, or if it was the new little-mohawk-ish thing I have going on with my hair right now (I did it for my little brother, okay), but whatever the case, I was really impressed. I have been to many new churches, but no one ever approached me directly and said “Hello” because I was new. This guy ended up being the Pastor for the college and career age at the church, and after a brief conversation, he invited me to attend their college+career group service thingy on Thursday nights.

I went tonight (Thursday) to try out the college group, and again, really impressed. The whole group reminded me of their Pastor. They took me in, showed me around, introduced me to everyone, invited me to In-N-Out afterwords, and one guy even invited to hang out the following night. I don’t know about you, but I find it such an amazing thing when you can make a new guy feel welcome. I can’t tell you if this church IS the church I will be attending up here just after the one visit, but I do have to tell you that they are doing a great job at making new people feel welcome, and I am looking forward to pursuing this church a quite a bit more to see if this is where God wants me.

So…what is the purpose of this post? I just went on a huge personal ramble, right? Here is the point. I have rarely been on this side of the field, being the “new guy”, since I grew up in the church. But man, I have found it amazing when someone walks across the room with the purpose of breaking the ice for you.

So my challenge for you all is to not underestimate the impact you can have on that new person by simply walking across the room and saying “Hello”. It might just change their life. So keep your eyes peeled (or develop a super power) for that new person at your church, and go say “Hello”.

have you had any cool/weird experiences while trying out a new church?

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In God’s Love and Grace,

Just Walk Across the Room and Say Hello - Colton Jansen

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  • Colton September 12, 2010, 8:22 pm

    That’s a great story. And Yeah, most of the churches were on the larger size, so it was more that it would be hard for them to tell if I were new, or a regular…and I was really impressed with this church, because it was similar in size as the others, and someone basically said to themselves “Hey, that person is new, I’ll go say hi to them and invite them to this thing”.

  • Mike September 12, 2010, 12:45 pm

    [At your age, I’d probably have made you look like an extrovert.]

    “I have been to many new churches, but no one ever approached me directly and said “Hello” because I was new.”

    This just amazes me…were these big churches where people might not recognize someone as new or regular?

    The moving thing brings back memories. During a period where for four years, we moved between park service in the summer and school in the winter [Colo. to Ind}. On a trip home at Christmas, we stopped in a blizzard and got a ten dollar trucker’s room behind the fuel stop.

    My six year old son asked, “Is this our new home?”

    That made finally being moved and settled into a home feel really good..

  • Colton September 3, 2010, 9:48 am

    Thanks a bunch Kay! That really means a lot to me. I love and miss you all too!

  • Kay Valentine September 3, 2010, 9:40 am

    Thank you for this post, Colton. It just reaffirms what God has been speaking to us as a church. In January, we went through “Just Walk Across the Room” by Bill Hybels. It was very simply testimonies and reminders of how important simply having outward hearts really is. It isn’t about how great we look, how big our programs…it is about our heart for people and our willingness to step out of our comfort zones to make them know that we see and value them. Love that everything you shared, encourages me to “walk across the room.” We sure love you and miss you. Love your website and your heart 🙂

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