Have you been trying to figure out the best tool for starting a conversation? If you're like us, then you are always looking for ways to get to know people better. But, a lot of times we are faced with the question: What can we do to strike up a conversation?
There are an infinite number of possible answers for that question. And we know you will figure out what works best for you. But, we have what we think are the two best tools for the job. And we want to share them with you.
Tool #1: A Bottle of Wine (or other beverage of your choosing)
Seriously? The whole bottle?
When you walk out to your front yard carrying a bottle of wine, it's obvious that you plan on staying for a while. Otherwise, you would have just poured some into a glass and brought that out.
No, you have an entire bottle!
Now, this doesn't mean you plan on drinking that entire bottle yourself (more on this in a minute). But you do plan on staying outside long enough to enjoy more than a single glass.
When we first moved into our neighborhood, we did this. A lot.
We would walk outside with the kids and a bottle of wine. And, it was amazing. Neighbors would see us outside sipping a delicious Amador County Barbera, and they would feel compelled to come say hello.
And we weren't limited to wine. Sometimes it was a unique beer or whiskey. And we obviously had to include the kids in this missional practice...with juice boxes of course.
In fact, we weren't the only neighbors using this tool. It actually became standard practice for anybody to walk outside with a bottle of something and have the rest of the neighbors migrate in their direction. Which added to the variety (Bonus!).
In fact, it was our neighbors who taught us about the second best missional tool for starting a conversation.
Tool #2: An Extra Glass (or more)
It is one thing to see your neighbor out enjoying a tasty beverage. However, it is far more inviting when that neighbor has already anticipated your arrival by setting aside a glass for you to join them.
Doing this shows that you were hoping to have company. And it eliminates any hesitancy on the part of the recipient. You are showing that this was the plan all along. They aren't depriving you of drinking the whole bottle by yourself. That was never your intention to begin with.
And now that you've poured your neighbor a glass, he or she has also made it clear that the two of you will spend a few minutes together. Enjoying a refreshing drink and talking about whatever happens to come up.
You Should Try It!
So, why don't you give it a shot?
It doesn't have to be wine. That just happens to be what you will typically see on our block. An interesting book about the connection between alcoholic beverages and being on mission with God is The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World.
But this practice is certainly not limited to alcohol. Make some lemonade or grab a six-pack of your choosing. Whatever it is, just make sure you bring enough to share.
And then, please tell us how it went in the comments. Even if you sat alone on your porch for 2 hours. We can't measure our success by numbers any more. Success comes in trying new things. Will you try it?