This post has been on my heart for awhile and I wanted to share some thoughts about gatekeeping. I just read a friends blog that prompted me to write this post now. With another move in our future, I fully understand the trials of being new in a town. New to a church, homeschool group, neighborhood, group of friends, school...what ever it may be. Just new. The concept of a gatekeeper is to be the one when someone new comes into a group and to meet them at the gate. Let them in. Take them under your wing and introduce them around. Help them find new stores, doctors and friends. Show them the ropes. Take them under your wing and do what you can to make their transition smooth. Include them in parties. Ask to meet for coffee or lunch after school or church. Bring them a meal when they are moving in or offer to help. They may have no one else to lean on. In a sense, make room on your "friend plate" for someone new.
If you look around there are new people everywhere. All looking for that friendly face in the crowd to make them feel welcome. We all remember how it feels to be new. Even if you have been in the same town for years, can't you at least imagine the feeling. Loneliness. Isolated. Unfamiliar. You, then, are the perfect gatekeeper. Step out of your comfort zone and reach out to that new person. You don't have to be their best friend, or even hit it off great. Just meet them at the door and introduce them to someone. Carve time out of your busy schedule and be willing to be used. To serve someone else.
It seems our busy society doesn't lend itself to reaching out. Soccer practice, working out at the Y, running to the bank, getting the books back to the library...you understand. But let me encourage you to have eyes to see how you can be a gatekeeper in your circle. Encourage your kids to do the same. Just imagine what a blessing it will be to another family.
Just reach out and open the gate.