By Phillip Grothus

Did your parents ever teach you how to introduce yourself to someone new? Did they teach you to give a firm handshake with a smile on your face looking the other person in the eyes? Yes, my parents did that too.

The art of introductions and small talk seems to be fading away, and it’s disheartening. Lately, I’ve observed people glued to their phones, disconnected from the world around them. We’ve become attached to these devices, seeking instant gratification and information, while the simple act of approaching someone and engaging in conversation is becoming less common.

While cell phones have revolutionized communication with loved ones, they’ve also replaced face-to-face interactions with impersonal and shorthanded texts. This shift has given rise to online hostility, where individuals feel comfortable to say hurtful things they would never express in person, disregarding the impact of their words.

Cell phones have helped the Church to communicate with the people in the pews. We send out emails, social media posts to engage in our SFA community. However, we are missing out on the power of the personal invite. On Sunday some people may have a negative response to a simple hello. Their wall immediately goes up with the idea of “what do you want me to volunteer with?” We need to let that go and accept the pleasant greeting and allow it to be a community builder.

We cannot do things alone. Jesus called 12 to help communicate his word to all and all he said to them was “Be not afraid; come follow me.” You know what they did after those six words? They dropped their nets and followed. Let’s drop our phones, and communicate with each other when we come to worship. That way we will build a stronger community of Christ, and follow him.