What intrigues me is that I've yet to come across a church that considers itself anything less than friendly, and yet, as on Saturday, we still have to be told to say hello to someone we don't know.
For some reason, let's be spiritual and suggest that God prompted me, I was thinking about this as we began the day in the chapel at King's College. My solution was to take the initiative and speak to someone I didn't know rather than wait for someone to speak to me. Turning around I introduced myself to Colin who, it turned out, was studying missional church for his dissertation and we had a quite wonderful conversation at the end of the morning as we went in search of lunch. Had it not been that I didn't want a sit-down lunch, I suspect our conversation would have developed further but we went separate ways for our meals.
In the book Just Walk Across the Room, Bill Hybels discusses just such a simple approach to outreach. But here's the rub, if we are not open enough and observant enough to be able to reach out a hand of welcome in a gathering of Christians, how likely are we to do it in another context? If we don't live inclusively within the church, how are we going to live inclusively beyond it?