Over the course of my time as a minister in the UMC I have seen two types of people. There are the people who want to get to know you and there are the people who want you to get to know them.
This happens in conversation all the time when you meet someone new. This is not unique to clergy at all. Think when you were at a gathering and you were meeting new people. There are the people who are asking questions of you, in order to get to know you. They do little talking about themselves (unless asked then they will share). They are seemingly interested in getting to know you.
And the paradox is that when you encounter a person who wants to get to know you, you actually get to know a lot about them.
You learn about their hospitality, curiosity and social skills. You learn if they are a good listener, conversationalist and a lifetime learner. You learn what they are interested in based upon the questions they ask you and you learn part of their story because they identify their story is somehow interconnected with your story.
Then there are the people you meet and they are very interested in making sure you get to know them. You are asked little about yourself and are mostly quiet during the exchange because you are hearing them speak about their travels, experiences, knowledge or accomplishments. It is
And the paradox id that when you encounter a person who wants you to get to know them, you actually get to know a lot about them - perhaps enough to actually not want to learn any more. And the relationship ends.
Christians are followers of Jesus who was a guy who people sought out. And many times, Jesus asks all about the person who sought him out. And as he learned more about them, they desired to follow him. They wanted to learn more and foster a relationship.
As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to learn about people, our neighbors, our enemies and our friends. We are not the center of the world nor the conversation. We are invited to be like Jesus and take a full investment into the lives of others. Which means we are called to be a people who gets to know you.