Monday, November 19, 2007

What Do Normal People Talk About?

Pastor Deb went on a date recently, and discovered that it was hard to find non-church things to talk about:

Anyway, so this morning I have been thinking and I'm trying to come up with what normalyeah, that's a reality that is kinda hard to swallow, as much as I knew it before, it didn't really matter because the core of my friends are pastors too, so they don't have a life either!) At one point he said, "so you don't really get out much do you?" Is it that obvious?!?!


Mr. Date Man was really good about everything, idiosyncrasies and all. He didn't make me feel weird, but nevertheless, I don't know that I have ever felt so foreign about what I do or who I am (as a Christian). My experiences and such just don't seem normal. They seem strange. Weird. Alien. And actually it's more of a good thing than bad. It makes me realize I really do need to get out more, branch out more, and really encounter people beyond my setting. I mean, even when I meet people that don't go to church, by in large, they grew up in the church, or in another faith setting, so there's a common ground to fall back on.

So my question for today is: What do normal people talk about?!?! people talk about. I mean, after the general basics of conversation, there has to be more to discuss, and quite frankly, I don't know what that *more* is.

One of the odd things about ministry is that it often isolates us from non-Christians. Or even just non-church members. One of my Mentored Ministry goals for this semester is to meet and learn the names of at least two people in my parish community who are not affiliated with my church. I have to discipline myself to engage the world outside of my church if I'm going to model good evangelism, and engage in it myself.


Deb said...

John, I hope you live into your's a really different world when you actually reach beyond the church (and even beyond those who are generally religious) of luck!!

Jehovah Judah said...

Indeed, I think many Christians have difficulty with "becoming all things to all people." Especially with ministers since they often are full-time involved within the church.
I suppose one can talk about football or something. I am a college student so normally all conversations degenerate into, "So what's your major?."

Gary said...

I have spent a pretty large amount of time around people who are similar to me in terms of background, economics, etc., but don't see the inside of a church except for weddings and the highly unusual church funeral.

Television is one of the biggest things that they can all talk about. What did you watch last night? Did you see..

I'm often reminded of this Calvin&Hobbes:

Stephen Taylor said...

Wish I could remember where I heard this statistic (prob some evangelism book): Generally after six years in a church, a new convert no longer has non-churched friends. Birds of a feather....

DannyG said...

h(J) and I met working the ICU of a regional heart center. We would talk about the day's adventures on our dates to start off with (Dr w. cracking a chest right their on the floor, the crazy new internist and his wierd orders, etc). It's comfort zone. Finally we drifed off to music and astronomy, among other things, common interests which we didn'k know we had in common at the start. So, my answer is that one tends to talk about what one knows best and is most comfortable with when one is in an uncomfortable situtation, like a first date.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, I must echo others above. I threw my Seinfeld-like quirks out the door when I asked my wife out. She was a nurse when I was an intern. I was reluctant to date a nurse, nursing student, or a medical school classmate throughout med school. I didn't want to talk shop at all. I firmly believe that God played a large part in me meeting my wife, as I knew the kind of girls I had dated previously, and she was (is) truly outstanding.
Lastly, YOU ARE NORMAL!!!!!! Discuss your passions, hobbies, and interests. Be willing to embrace new activities (ie museums, camping, sports) or old ones that you haven't done in awhile.