My wife Ellen loves to make friends with strangers in every imaginable situation. When I walk the 1 km with her to the office she wants to stop by and say hi to the man who sells her cocunut water, the press walla that sometimes irons our clothes, and the street vender where she gets a parota, sambar and a masala omelette for 20r. If you’re like that, you probably won’t need these ideas, but if you’re more like me, here are some ideas that might help you develop new friendships:
- PLAN LOTS OF FUN EVENTS. Fun events are an easy place for people to bring their friends. Picnics are great for almost everyone. Movie nights are good for young adults. Food is always great. I met Sandeep, who became the drummer at Mercy Vineyard at a Christmas Party. He had lots of fun at the party, met some new friends, and has been coming ever since.
- FIND TWO OR THREE GATHERERS who will help you. In Bangalore, two of the first to help us were Jagadish and Sijee. Whenever we would get together for a small group or a fun event, these two young men would bring one or two friends. This made my role so much easier because all I needed to do was to befriend THEIR friends. For me, that’s a whole lot easier than befriending a total stranger.
- LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE YOU SEE REGULARLY. For example, it helps me to get my hair cut from the same person. I’m also more likely to make a friendship with a neighbor I say “Hi” to frequently. In fact, in the past when I was looking for a job, one of the things I was looking for was an office where I would have twenty or thirty (unsaved) coworkers. It took a while, but when I got the job I was looking for, those twenty coworkers became my field of ministry, and many Kingdom stories grew out of relationships with that group of people.
HOW ABOUT YOU? WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU TO GET OUT AND MEET NEW PEOPLE?