An Attempt to Get You Thinking about the Importance and Relevancy of Ministering To Teens In a Whole New Way

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lessons From Listening

To those that are preparing to minster to the body of Christ, I have learned a valuable lesson this evening. I learned that no matter who you are or who you are speaking to you have to listen. Whether you are in your basement with friends or you are leading Sunday morning services you must listen to be effective. It is not enough to assume that you understand the other party’s position, feelings or views; you must take on that position, feeling, or view. What good is it if we first align others positions, feelings, or views to our own understanding of that matter without fully grasping their understanding of the matter. In other words how can we compare what others have to say with our thoughts, if we never take the time to truly know what they are saying? As a friend this can be as simple as not being considerate in a conversation by “responding hastily as if you were waiting for the other person to stop talking” so you could finally respond. As a leader what does this look like? In my experience, yes I have experience, this is when a valid concern, question, or differing perspective is presented to me and I dismiss it on the grounds that it came from “some silly kid.” As a youth pastor I missed out on some great doctrinal discussion because I was not willing to listen to the “Challenges” that were brought by a 16 year old boy. I regret the loss of that teachable moment. Not only did I miss the opportunity to teach the boy but the opportunity to be taught by the boy. No matter whom you are or where you are; LISTEN. Whether you are a friend in my basement or leading a service listen to those “…silly kids” they probably have more to offer than you think they do.

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