This is a GREAT idea that was birthed in the parking lot. Many new Moms have been visiting the church over the last several months. And realizing that you can’t build relationships passing through the worship doors, an hour of dessert, coffee (that’ll be a hot tea for me), and some good conversation, just might begin some new friendships.

But there’s a catch.

In order for this to work and build some new friendships, some hard habits have to be set aside for the evening. We can’t sit by someone we already know, we can’t talk with someone we already have a relationship with, we can’t share a huge slice of cake with someone we already hang out with, and we can’t talk church. Without these ground rules, a new friend can’t possibly cross the threshhold of old friendships.

I recall attending a Ladies Night Out at a large, local church alone. I heard about the event in the free church news section of the newspaper. I entered and paid my money at the table that was already covered in name tags. There was no name tag for me and they had no extras. Shrugging it off as not important I passed through a gauntlet of more than 20 women speaking one to another in groups as small as 2 and as great as 4. Too involved in their own conversations, no one noticed me. I walked into a room filled with some 20-25 round tables. Round tables are great for conversation. Walking to the stage, I discovered the first 2 rows of tables were empty of ladies, although every chair was tilted forward on the table signifying that all of the best seats in the house were “saved.” I walked aimlessly alone among all the tables until a woman made eye contact with me. She invited me to sit with her. Before dinner was served, we discovered that we had shared many of the same bible studies and she, too, was a lone visitor.

I made a new friend, and realized that just because the door is open, doesn’t mean the door is open.

Carrot cake anyone? It’s a vegetable, right?