Slowing down long enough to listen is the most important step you can take if you really want to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
Today, you very likely exchanged money or swiped a credit card in the presence of another human being. You may have placed an order with a cashier or wait staff. You might have spoken to a nurse or a receptionist at a doctor’s office. How many people did you come across today?
If each one is a typical US adult, they can only identify one real friend in their life. We live in an age where one in four people report they have no one who will listen to them. If you only had one friend and no one to listen to your concerns wouldn’t you welcome someone who came along and listened to you and cared about you? How many of the people you came across today needed someone to listen to them?
Here is Francis Chan with some excellent insights as to How Not to Make Disciples:
In the last year of reporting for the United Methodist Church, a person in the USA had a 1 in 2,500 chance of making a profession of faith for the first time in a United Methodist Church. On average, it took a full time pastor working for a year plus a year’s witness of 58 lay persons to make one new disciple. The United Methodist Church spent $52,402 for each new disciple that was made during the year. Do those figures satisfy you?
We serve a God who told us the two main things in life are to love God with heart, soul and mind and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Is there any better way to love than to listen?
How many disciples would we make if every day someone like you stopped and listened to a person that you encountered?
A lot more than we are making now.
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