I am beginning a year of listening and asking the Downtown community of First Church to join me. Quite frankly I do a lot of talking. It’s part of the job description in a way and it is comfortable. When you talk you stay in control. You control the topic and the results. You also control your surroundings by not allowing others to have a say. Like I said, it’s comfortable.
But listening is different. It is dangerous as you cede control to someone else to determine topic and theme. It is dangerous because it may lead to someplace you didn’t necessarily want to go or do something you don’t necessarily want to do.
Listening also takes a lot of work. For showing up and focusing is energy draining and at time inconvenient. But it is important work. It is also non-negotiable for those of us following Christ.