At the 2017 North District Conference, there were many workshops and presentations. No one was able to attend each and every one and for anyone who missed the event all-together, here is a highlight . . .
When You Don’t Know Your Neighbor. . . Meetup.com by Rev. Ann Thomas
At North District Training, one of the workshops was on using social media to meet new people. In addition to Facebook and internet advertising, the workshop addressed a common problem for many adults. The pastor has asked members (you) to invite new people to church or to church events, citing statistics like: “90% of people do not attend any church but over 90% of those say that are likely to go if invited.” You tell your mother’s voice to be quiet (you know the voice—the one in your head saying, “we don’t talk about religion, money or politics in polite company”) and begin to look around for someone to invite to church. But here’s your dilemma: you don’t know anyone you can invite. Maybe you can’t talk about church at work because the rules forbid it or because you are retired. You already asked your family. Your only other circle of people you know is . . . at church. So before you can invite anyone, you need to expand your social circles.
When you were a kid in school, making new friends and meeting people was pretty easy. They were in your class, on your team or rode your bus. But how can you meet new people as an adult? For many adults, meeting new people is difficult.
Enter social media, and specifically Meetup.com. Meetup.com is a website where you can find literally hundreds of groups to join. Some of the groups are small, like the Las Vegas Poets Organization with just 34 members. Others have thousands of members, like Las Vegas Social with over 10,000 members or Vegashikers with 15,000 members. Topics range from art to technology and lots in between. Love food? Try It’s Just Lunch. Like adventure and trying new things? Las Vegas Bucket List is one of the largest and most active groups on Meetup.com. Maybe something a little more mellow, perhaps? Rock N Roll Wine meets every week for wine tastings. In short, there is something for everyone. Best of all, meetup.com is free to join. Some groups charge for membership and others charge for activities, but finding out about them is free.
Steps to meeting new people:
- Join meetup.com. It’s simple, especially if you already have a Facebook account.
- Search for a group that looks interesting. Just put your interest in the meetup search bar along with where you are located and meetup will list interesting groups near you.
- Join a group. Read through the groups’ descriptions, take special notice of whether the group has events in the near future. Some groups go dormant so be sure the group is active.
- RSVP for an upcoming event. This is important since some events have limited space.
- GO! And when you attend the event, get to know the people. You already have something in common to talk about.
- Finally, and this is important—DO NOT START INVITING PEOPLE TO YOUR CHURCH. Instead, get to know them. Let them get to know you. If and when the time is right to invite someone, you will know. In the meantime, have fun and make new friends.
Check out another North District Leadership Training Conference presentation in the next e-news article in this publication.