Often, a single interaction can make or break our opinion of something. And while it’s possible to overcome a first impression, it takes a whole lot more work than just getting it right the first time.
Based on a first impression with a person, we may assume that person is either open or closed, warm or cold, focused or distracted, and so on. But what if that person is also representing a community?
It’s the same with community
A first experience with a community will leave an impression of whether it’s an open or closed community, warm or cold, engaging or disengaging, interested, disinterested, or self-interested. But here’s the rub: if you’re a part of a community, somebody’s first reaction to that community could be their interaction with you – whether you want to believe it or not.
Followers of Jesus are part of a community
As followers of Jesus of Nazareth, we are part of a global, multi-generational, multi-ethnic community that was established before the foundations of the earth. We are ambassadors for Christ and ministers of reconciliation.
What is true on the grand scale is also true on the local scale. And is even true on the personal scale. We are always ministers of the Good News of Jesus Christ. We always represent him and his body – the Church.
It is this way whether we know it or not. Whether we want to admit it or not. Whether we are warm or cold. Whether we’re tired or energetic. Whether we – as individuals, as communities, as the Church universal – represent God well or poorly.
Here are my questions
I’m asking them to myself. I’m not sure I like the answers.
Do you like the answers when you ask yourself?
- What kind of first impression do you give?
- What kind of first impression does your spiritual community give?
- Do you like your answers to these questions?
- If not, what can you do to change your answers?