Six ways to practice listening at church

In my last post, I wrote about six ways to practice defining yourself at church.

But listening is equally important. Here are six ways to practice:

  1. In any conversation, listen as much as you talk.
  2. Don’t argue. Listen.
  3. Don’t defend yourself. Listen.
  4. Don’t defend someone else. Listen.
  5. Be curious while you listen. What can you learn about this person?
  6. While you are listening, pay attention to your own response. Are you anxious, bored, interested, agreeing, disagreeing. What do you notice?

How do you practice listening in your own ministry?

2 replies on “Six ways to practice listening at church

  • Rev Jim Hinds

    Very true. A few years ago I wrote that while we lift up Jesus as a great story teller, I felt that he was an even better listener. Of course the Gospels must present Jesus as telling/sharing/teaching. It would be pretty boring to just present Jesus with expressions of his listening. And yet, if we consider the stories as one side of a conversation, and trust that Jesus/God/Spirit are truly willing and wanting to listen to us, then, Jesus must have listened much in order to see deep into the people’s needs. From these roots comes his stories. I need to listen, cause I do talk to much, jump to conclusions, don’t always give space for the ‘other’ (the other is holding within a slice of God – so why not listen to them!) have their say.

    • Margaret Marcuson

      Most of us who go into ministry have plenty to say! The challenge is to know when to stop talking!


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