Why Listening Is So Powerful in Small Group Ministry
In a world full of talking, tweeting, posting and opinionating, the power of listening may have never been more in need. People seem to have a built-in desire to be heard, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to let their thoughts and feelings be known to anyone and everyone around them. Talk, vent, explode, shout to just make sure your voice is audible above the crowd.
And then there is God. In a time when it seems His voice is so needed, in a time when we plead for Him to speak, in a time when we would love to read a blog from God Almighty himself, God is silent. Quiet. Seemingly mute. And if we are not careful, we can equate the silence with absence or apathy. But God is not gone or uncaring, He is active and engaged…just not in the way we would do it. Instead of speaking, He is listening.
- God heard the boy (Genesis 21:17)
- God heard their groaning (Exodus 2:24)
- God heard them (many times in the Psalms)
And Jesus was no different; he listened over and over again. So, what if there is an example in that for us? In a world of noise, what if the real power lies in being quiet and listening. It turns out that there really is power in listening, being quiet and attentive, seeking to understand, and showing care and compassion.
Sometimes we get so busy trying to do things and fix things that we fail to slow down and listen. Mary was commended by Jesus for sitting still and listening, while Martha was admonished for belittling the power of listening and elevating her service.
Great leaders are great listeners. Emulate our Lord and Savior and spend some time listening to those around you who are hurting and lonely. Make listening a hallmark of your Community Group.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19 (NIV)
This article originally appeared here.