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Getting started

Starting is sometimes the hardest part. It can feel like you're taking a risk by taking the first step on the journey, even if you really want to share this part of your life with someone. Well done on making it this far! Firstly, consider:

WHO: Maybe you already have someone in mind that you would like to invite to a meet up such as this. Maybe you like the idea of sharing but don't know who with. Either way, the place to start is with prayer. See how the Holy Spirit prompts you and seek guidance in who to invite.

WHAT:Once you know who your invitee is, think about the type of activities you like to do together and tailor it to the person. Planning an activity that you know you'll both enjoy, or that you usually do together, will put you both at ease. The first Hope Hour meets ups were all home made meals; it's a great place to start if that's something you enjoy doing together! However, perhaps there are other activities you already do together which might feel more natural, for example a long walk or a drive. Perhaps offer them options when you invite them. Whatever you do, it needs to be relaxed, with space for conversation to complement the activity and, ideally, fun! Activities where you can't talk (dance classes, cinema trips etc) are obviously not as as appropriate.​


Now you know who to invite and what you'd like to do together, consider the five following things as part of your invitation:

1) Know how to invite them Nowadays there are many different ways to reach people; call, text, email, social media – the list goes on. You know your loved one best and how they’d be most at ease when asked. As with the activity, tailor it to the individual person. Having said that, in the past, most of our invites have started with an initial text to say you’d like to talk about something over the phone. It gives the person an indication that it’s more significant than an “ordinary” phone call. A call then gives them an opportunity for you to explain more fully what the idea is and for them to ask any questions.


2) Think about the question In line with our Heart, Mission and Intentions page, think about how you’re going to ask the actual question. Perhaps start by letting them know that your faith is a key part of your life and, by having the opportunity to discuss it with them, you’ll really be explaining and sharing a deeper part of yourself as well. Express that your hope is that, as it is based around a conversation, you will learn more about them in turn.

3) Make it easy for them to say no Remove the pressure; it will make it easier for you both. Phrases like “if you’d like to”, “only if you want to” and “please feel free to say no” might be helpful here. By doing this, you set the tone for the meet up before it has begun. Neither side wants this to feel like a forced conversation and so, by giving them real choice and space to say no, you know that they mean it if they say yes.

4) Fix a time and date Do this during the first conversation or follow up shortly after. As with all social plans, sometimes these things fall by the wayside because an arranged time has not been committed to. If you put something in the diary when you’re first inviting them, then you’re more likely to actually meet up.

5) Remember this is a loved one We’ve talked about this feeling daunting, yet; remember this is a loved one who cares for you and will probably enjoy talking about some deeper topics and having the opportunity to get to know you better. So, get excited! You’ll be with someone that you love, doing something that you like, talking about things that really matter. What could be better?


Congratulations! Head on over to the Preparations page to start thinking about what you need to do ahead of the Meet Up.


If your invitee declined the invitation, don't be discouraged. As 2 Timothy 1:7-8 reminds us to be, you were bold for the Gospel. You also did a brave thing in being open this way. Your grace, love and care in the way you accept the "no" response will speak volumes too. Perhaps let them know that it is an open invitation, should they change their mind at a future date. Please do consider sharing your experience with us, should you wish. Your story may support and encourage others.