Whether we’re dining with friends and family or waiting for our table with strangers, we can offer warm greetings as an appetizer to fruitful conversation.
Let’s think about dinner appetizers.
Imagine sitting on your friend’s sofa as she serves an appetizer tray. You pop a small slice of green fruit into your mouth and immediately wish you hadn’t.
One eye closes involuntarily like you’ve been sucking lemons all day, and you shudder to the core of your being. Your mouth purses into fish lips as the inside of your cheeks pucker and meet in the middle.
Green persimmons do not a tasty appetizer make.
Imagine instead popping a bite of your favorite cheese into your mouth. A much better introduction to a meal, wouldn’t you say?
Just as cheese, shrimp cocktail, and veggies with dip provide a smooth transition into a hearty meal, warm greetings pave the way to conversation. Whether we meet strangers or friends, cordial exchanges wake up the palate of the human heart to enjoy conversation and create relationships.
Whether we meet strangers or friends, cordial exchanges wake up the pallet of the human heart to enjoy conversation and create relationships. Click To Tweet
Paul, a communicator inspired by God, included warm greetings in the letters he wrote. Those letters, now books of the Bible, still encourage us today.
Paul inspired readers and listeners of his words to acknowledge and welcome each other and then asked them to share his messages. In Colossians 4:7-9 he mentioned two co-workers by name, Tychicus and Onesimus, whom he sent to visit fellow believers. He intended for them to encourage hearts and share ministry news.
The greetings in Paul’s letters and those he extended in-person forged relationships. They also opened the door for instruction and offered motivation to serve others and continue the work of sharing the gospel.
How can we offer warm greetings like delectable appetizers to spark fruitful conversation and build relationships? How can we acknowledge, include, and serve others?
A few smiles and cheery words can welcome those who may be on the periphery of a group. People feel ostracized and unworthy to participate when we ignore them and fail to involve them in conversation. Without the appetizer of a greeting to welcome them, they may not engage in listening or contributing.
God provides conversations and leads us to encourage those we meet and share the joy of walking with Jesus. If they lack hope, we can share the hope we have in Christ. He blesses us with opportunities to serve others for His glory.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.1 Peter 3:15 ESV
Let’s strive to notice people and show genuine interest in them. Warm greetings truly offer opportunities to engage in fruitful conversation and may help build or strengthen relationships.
Here’s a recipe with ingredients that foster engaging conversations.
1. Consider the needs of each participant.
2. Add generous dollops of warm smiles and eye contact during a group meal or gathering.
3. Sprinkle in a few questions to include everyone in the conversation.
4. Season the greetings with attentive listening.