Making your own icebreaker

Y’all know how the New Evangelization means you have to actually speak to, well, people. Sometimes people you don’t know. Standing in front of you. About religious stuff.

Aack. It’s not for everybody.

Or is it?

I try to meet someone I don’t know after Mass at least every couple of weeks. I have terrible social skills, but I do find people interesting. So it’s easier for me to ask questions at first instead jumping right into an impromptu conversation with strangers.

This is typical:

Hey, I don’t know you from Adam, I’m Christian; that blonde over there is my wife Janet.

Who are y’all? Hello…nice to meet you.

Where ya from? Ya married, right? How’d y’all meet? When did ya first consider him marriage material? Ha!

And how did you propose? Wow.

So what’s your maiden name? Izzat Czech? Oh, Hungarian. What generation American are you?  Where were ya born?

How’d ya’ll wind up here? Are y’all Catholic or just visiting?

Catholic? Cradle or convert? You’re cradle…did you grow up in an ethnic parish?

And you’re a convert.  Janet’s a convert, I’m cradle.

So tell me a little bit of your conversion story…uh-huh…uh-huh. How’s ya faith journey doin’ since ya been Catholic? Yeah, there’s a lot to learn.

How’d ya pick this parish? How long ya been inna parish? Still suits ya?

Did you do RCIA here? How’d you like it? Who taught it? How was he? Did you learn anything that was surprising? Yeah…uh-huh.

Ya been ta da parish breakfas’ yet? No? Ya wanna try dat, the food is way good an’ not jus’ coffee’n’flapjacks: eggs Benedict, omelets, way cool. Plus ya get some Cath’lic fellaship…yeah it’s weird, idnit? But people like it. And kids eat cheap.

These are yours, rite? So how old are y’all? Are y’all in catechism? Yeah? I teach 6th grade, you’ll get me if I live another couple of years.

This ya regular Mass? Yeah I like it too, I like all the singing.

So it’s been a couple of years, how’s the New Translation suit ya? Yeah, I like it better too but I still hafta read the Creed…

It’s not a template like cold-callers use, but it’s an approach that works for me. Maybe something similar would work for you. Be not afraid.

Copyright © 2013, Christian LeBlanc

Christian LeBlanc

Christian LeBlanc

Christian LeBlanc is a revert whose pre-Vatican II childhood was spent in South Louisiana, where he marinated in a Catholic universe and acquired a Catholic imagination. During his middle school years in South Carolina, Christian was catechized under the benevolent dictatorship of Sister Mary Alphonsus, who frequently admonished him using the nickname "Little Pagan." After four years of teaching Adult Ed and RCIA, he returned to Sr. Alphonsus' old classroom to teach Catechism himself. Married to Janet, the LeBlancs have five children and two grandsons. Christian and Janet belong to St. Mary's Parish in Greenville, South Carolina. Christian also posts at Amazing Catechists and his blog, Smaller Manhattans. He is the author of The Bible Tells Me So: A Year of Catechizing Directly from Scripture.

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