So, How Was Your Summer?

This awkward question has come up so often. How do I describe what I did this summer without boring or losing my audience? How much do they want to know? How little can they hear and still keep some semblance of understanding? And really, what part of my summer do you want to hear about?

Enter my 45 second blurb that I have repeated so often that a few of my friends could probably say it for me.

Sometimes I get a further prompt question, but usually, all I get is a “that’s cool.” And then you have to ask how their summer was… “Oh, I was at a church.” Here is when I really should be asking a series of deeper questions, asking how the experience was, if there was a time when they felt like they were truly ministering, or deeply broken, forcing them to reach out to others or to (surely not, in ministry, really?) God.

This is the story that I should be hungry to hear, that I should desire to listen to, that I should be so incredibly eager to have and respond so that we can share in a Eucharistic interchange of God’s amazing ministry through our individual experiences in this amazing thing we call church that is God’s Community together. But too often we sell ourselves short, as we try to get masses of possibly irrelevant information (that we may shortly forget) and catch up with so many people.


1 thought on “So, How Was Your Summer?”

  1. I’ve noticed myself falling into a similar trap and I’m not sure how to fix it.

    Partly, it’s a recognition that often the conversations are occurring in moments that aren’t necessarily conducive to long responses. Yes, there’s something fundamentally off in our culture when we come to expect sound-bite answers but I don’t know how to change that reality.

    More importantly (and troubling) I’m not sure what questions I should be asking. I can think of what I did during my summer but I’m not entirely sure I know which questions would necessarily draw out those responses.

    Short of wearing a sign, how do we make it clear to people that we’re looking for those deep conversations and will make the time to have them?

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