The most important skill needed for evangelism is the ability to listen. The most important skill needed for church leadership is the ability to listen. The most important skill needed for body life in the church is the ability to listen.
We focus way too much on what we’re going to say. We need to focus more on picking up on what others say.
The spate of celebrity suicides reminds us that there are hurting people that need someone to listen to them. So much violence, like the shootings at schools, could be avoided if people would listen to those who feel they have no voice. So many abuse victims could be protected if the people around them would listen.
How many problems in the church reflect a lack of listening? How many people fall through the cracks because we don’t hear what they need to say? How many young people are frustrated by their perception that the older generation doesn’t care about their situation? How many older people feel that their wisdom and experience is being cast aside in favor of the young?
People around us are dealing with much pain. They are dealing with much fear. They have guilt and regrets from the past. They have uncertainty about the future.
Listen. Truly listen to the people around you. Spend less time talking, more time listening. You may be surprised at the changes you’ll see.