Friday, October 11, 2013

On Listening Well (Day 11)

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 "If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will be full." -John Piper
Perhaps by now you're beginning to feel more confident about this missional meals thing. You have a date on your calendar to host a meal with a diverse group of people. But maybe you're feeling nervous about what to talk about. Are you wanting to engage in conversations that go beyond the surface? Let me teach you a trick; just listen.

Before we moved to Downtown Orlando we had  friends who did open-air preaching on Downtown street corners. Watching them interact with people was one of the most educational times for my own missional journey. I learned that for the most part people want to talk to you but you will miss what they are really communicating  if you're not listening. Oftentimes we found that the people least receptive to the Gospel had been hurt by the church. We found that out by listening.

People usually will tell you anything you want to know if you are willing listen because they want to know and be known. Perhaps their family is in shambles. Perhaps they've been abused and have made some decisions about the opposite sex because of that. Maybe they grew up in a really strict home and have either become really strict or exceedingly relaxed because of it. Before you can share the Gospel with people in a way they'll connect with, you must begin to hear their story. The best way to do that is to listen because usually they are already sharing it.

I challenge you today to choose at least one person to really listen to. Only talk to ask clarifying questions or if they ask for your advice. You'll be surprised by what you learn.


  1. There aren't a lot of people who are good at listening these days. So much competition to be heard we have forgotten to listen, too. Or we're too busy trying to figure out what to say next that we really don't hear what the other person is saying or we assume we know what they are saying. This is a great intentional activity. I bet it will be challenge to many.

    Christy @ A Heartening Life

    1. That's so true, Christy. I think oftentimes people are struggling to be fully in the moment because we're so bombarded with the busyness of life.