Adopting an incarnational-missional approach to your neighborhood requires the rarely practiced art of listening to your neighbors.
When we move into a community as a pastor or as a lay person, what are the ways we can listen more lovingly to the neighbors who are already present? Using demographic tools like MissionInsite give some clues about questions we might explore and people we might seek to meet, but studying a screen full of information is no substitute for meeting and talking with people. Here are five steps to listening that you might want to take:
- Schedule some time in your calendar to meet someone new.
- Make a list of great questions to ask that will help you understand the person and the community better. Here are some to start with
- What brought you here?
- What do you love about this community?
- Where do you see the strengths of this community?
- What are the challenges this community is facing?
- What needs are you seeing people confront?
- What wakes you up at night?
- What is God up to in our community?
- How can we join God in what God is doing?
- Pray for God to help you meet some new people, to listen and to learn from them what God wants you to know about the community in which you are living.
- Talk with someone who lives in the community to brainstorm where the best places are that you might meet someone new to you. Ask your partner to pray for you and make a commitment to tell them what you learned so someone is holding you accountable.
- When the date and time show up on your schedule, get up and go out to meet some people.
- Won’t you be my neighbor? (jordantrumble.wordpress.com)