A Lesson on Listening (#4 – Why it Matters)

4. LEARN WHY IT MATTERS As stated in the first of four previous posts about listening, a contingency of the relationship between sheep and shepherd is for the flock to be familiar with the voice of the one shepherding. Similarly, the shepherd must know the collective voice of the flock, and in order to know the voice, the shepherd/pastor must listen intently to each individual situation. The flock expects a shepherd to ...

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A Lesson on Listening (#3 – Learn How to Show Value)

In an effort to learn how to be a better listener, you should understand when to shut up, what to hear, how to show value, and why it matters.   3. LEARN HOW TO SHOW VALUE Consider these two scenarios for a listener's response to someone disclosing information about a crisis situation: [Scenario 1: leg crossed, arms folded across chest]      “I’m sorry to hear that.” [Scenario 2: leaning forward, palms up]                        “I’m sorry to hear that.” Your eye contact ...

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A Lesson on Listening (#1 – When to Shut Up)

Yesterday, I blogged about the importance of a minister’s understanding of the different roles in which he/she might be serving, and when it comes to the role of pastor, offering pastoral care through presence and conversation requires the practice of listening. Whether you are a full-time employee of a church or a professing Christian living on mission through another vocation, it is helpful to have ears attuned to the people ...

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A Lesson on Listening: An Introduction

This summer, our church focused on Jesus’ parables—those allusive and, at times, elusive stories that always seem to pack a punch. With an economy of words, the brevity of Jesus’ teachings must always be unpacked, digested, and pondered. Without careful, contextual considerations, a cursory reading of a parable can only scratch the surface of the meaning of the parable, and the fullness of Jesus’ conveyed truths can easily be mistaken, misinterpreted, ...

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