Ann's Tips for Meeting New People
One of the skills that I’ve developed through ministry with InterVarsity is an ability to invite real conversation with strangers. This skill is crucial, especially as InterVarsity staff are constantly trying to get to know new students and seek out new leaders for the chapter. My current student leaders are often intimidated by meeting for coffee with new people — “what will we talk about?” I came up with a list of favorite questions and tips for getting to know new people. It is catered specifically for meeting with college students, but you can easily modify it so that it would fit in a church context, a party setting, or even a family gathering. I hope you find this helpful!
Meeting to Chat at the beginning of the year
Hopefully, you will meet several people over coffee or a Coke to chat. Most likely, these people are trying to find a way to connect with others at DePaul, and they are seeking God in one way or another. Here is a list of questions you can think about asking them.
Rule of thumb #1: People love to talk about themselves! Just ask and be a good listener.
Rule of thumb #2: Cultivate curiosity. Think about who this person is: what would you like to know about them? If they mention something interesting, ask them about it.
Rule of thumb #3: Put yourself in their shoes. Remember what it was like to be a freshman, to not know anyone, to be in a new place. You are an ambassador of God to this person — be a welcoming, loving presence to them.
Rule of thumb #4: Invite them to something. Everyone likes a personal invitation. Invite them to go with you to the next IV meeting, or social event, or out to lunch with some other friends.
Questions for potential leaders (later in the year)
Before you meet with a student who could potentially be a leader, do two things: 1) pray for them and for the meeting, 2) think about who they are and how you could cater the following questions to their life — or add some questions.
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