Yesterday was National Day of Listening. Not sure what’s up with the day being set on what is also
proclaimed as the biggest shopping day of the year. It was begun by StoryCorps who’s mission is to record people’s life stories. And dates all the way back to 2008.
I’ve been thinking about listening for a while now, a lot of my work requires listening skills, and I have determined that I’m not a real good listener. There, I said it, I owned it. I do a lot of listening but I’m not good at it. I listen thinking the whole time about my impending response, thinking of a solution to the person’s issues, assuming that I know “where they are going” in the conversation (1 Corinthians 2:11). Wanting them to hurry and finish so I can deal with “the issue” and move on. I listen in a hurry and that has made me a poor listening. And I interrupt, both rude and foolish (Proverbs 18:13). What's amazing is that all these people have continued to be patient with me and love me anyway.
So I go forward in hopes of learning to listen more closely, to not making judgements, to interrupting less and for my caring to be more obvious. How are your listening skills?Looking back over my ministry I must admit this has caused me to miss out on some important opportunities to grow. As a result I’ve missed learning from the resources at hand. Lem Moore had been an elder at Hamilton for 40 years. Not one time did I seek his insight into what had made that congregation so powerful. I could have at least asked and listened. I felt things not going well at Granny White and didn’t even ask elders what I might do different. I’ve left churches and not even asked what I could do to help make my leaving go smoothly.