Every week at my church, we have a break about 20 minutes into the morning. This break serves a variety of purposes. First, it gives parents the opportunity to take their kids to the nursery or to other children’s classrooms. It also provides people a chance to fill up on some coffee. But most importantly, the break provides an opportunity for people to have conversations, to move around the room and talk with some friends and maybe get to know some new people. This break has been thought through very strategically for the purpose of strengthening community within the church body.
I love the break. It’s fun for me to make my way around the room and talk with people. Typically, by this point, I have spotted at least a couple of people with whom I want to talk. And it’s fun to spot some new faces in the row in front of me. So for the longest time, I have been sold on how great the break is.
Except, one time a good friend said something that completely blew my mind. He told me that for most people, the break was a great opportunity to meet some people. However, he said to imagine how the break feels for someone who is an introvert and maybe has only come a few times and doesn’t really know anyone. He said for that person, the break is the most terrifying part of the morning. This person will stay seated in his or her chair with eyes down to the floor feeling like 5 minutes is an eternity. I had never thought about the break from that perspective. I just assumed that everyone enjoyed it the same way I did.
Here is what I learned. It’s always healthy and wise to think of other perspective besides your own. This plays out in so many ways from personal to business to all aspects of life. The things you like; the ideas you think are so great; find out what other people think. That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to change. We still have our break every Sunday morning even though we know that there are probably a few people who want to hide in the closet until we are done. But now we know. Maybe we don’t ditch the whole thing. But maybe we tweak it a little. Or maybe include some element that allows introverted folks to occupy themselves during that time in a non-threatening way.
In the end, informed decisions are the best kind.