Urban Dictionary defines the A.W- During an awkward moment, this hand gesture is used to mark the situation as awkward, and, depending on the situation, makes it more awkward or clears the air. The awkward turtle is made by putting one hand on top of the other with the thumbs sticking outward and rotating forward. The speed of the rotating thumbs depends on the degree of awkwardness.
Even though some personality types depend on the Turtle more than others, the church has been known to creates some awkward moments. Think through every aspect of your ministry through the eyes of an introvert or a visitor. Anything potentially awkward for these two groups?
If a person walks into a room and there isn’t a “third object”, then the soil is fertile for major awkwardness!!”
The Third Object– I am a flaming extrovert, but when I walk into unfamiliar territory I look for a third object to make the entry easier. So many students walk into a room and their only option is face to face conversation, which is difficult for many adults and students. There is a reason why dad and son are shooting hoops in the backyard when they have the sex talk. Here in Colorado, the ski lift is a great third object for conversation that isn’t eye to eye. When you have to go to the awkward wedding, head straight to the punch bowl or grab a lil’ smokey for a great third object.
While I wish we did better at this in our ministry, here are a few 3-O’s that have worked over the years for a majority of students; (they can be simple!!!!)
Donuts, Pictures on the wall, random You Tube videos, a multi-player Wii game, word searches or puzzles for younger students, music, ping pong, pool table, even a sign-in area can be a third object.
Remember, a good third object creates the opportunity for conversation while relieving the awkwardness. For example, a magazine or a one player video game are bad choices because they make conversation difficult.
So what are some good third objects in your ministry?