toolbox | active listening

image credit: MarkHatfield / iStockphoto
image credit: MarkHatfield / iStockphoto

This is the third post in a six part series on disciple making tools.

Active listening is a crucial disciple making tool because it forces me to remove myself from the center of a conversation or relationship.

Once I do that, God has more space to do his work of teaching people and drawing them to Jesus!

Here are the kinds of things I learn when I do a good job of listening:

When I actively listen to God, I learn who I should talk to, what I should say and when I am done. The priority of listening to God is underscored by the story of God using Peter to make disciples of Cornelius and his whole household (Acts 10).

When I actively listen to people of peace, I learn how they are seeking and responding to God. I don’t even have to initiate spiritual conversations! Just this week a person of peace introduced the topics of baptism and eternal life into our conversation.

When I actively listen to my team, I learn what I have been unable or unwilling to hear from others. Because of this, one experienced disciple making team says that talking with each other about specific relationships and strategies is one of the most important things they can do as disciple makers.

And I have also learned that listening is not only about learning. It is also about showing others how they can hear from God for themselves and honor others!

Your turn: how do you use active listening as a tool for making disciples? Leave a comment and start a conversation!

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