When God shows up, do you notice?  That was the them of the weekend development opportunites for FBC Smyrna Small Group Leaders, Members, Apprentices, Coaches and Coordinators.  Laverne Weber, from Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago,  was guest speaker for our annual Training and Development event.

Laverne is a gifted ‘listener.’  He has the ability to notice God in a conversation by listening and watching for opportunities to take your conversation deeper.  Friday night all participants had the opportunity to practice the principles of listening:  Listen with a Purpose;  watch for facts to become tracts;  listen for the rain; and listen for story to be home to a marker.

Discovery was made by individuals of others professions, families, great God moments, and concerns about life.  Laverne trained the coaches to use ‘listening’ when working with SG Leaders and members.  The key:  WONDER.  Always wonder about others and their stories.

A twist in the closing minutes gave me a personal challenge.  Laverne left us with this thought:  “listen for God speaking to you (me) in the conversation.”    I am usually running at high speed on Sundays, the day I hear from most people.  In that, I quickly listen for the issue and seek to solve the problem as quick as possible and move on to the next conversation.  Never do I listen for what God might be saying to me.  Even in meetings or counseling, I don’t think our tendency is to listen for what God is saying to us, rather we are listening for what we need to say (hopefully what God is guiding us to say) to them.

So, LISTEN.  Listen not only for the marker behind the story, but also for what God is saying/teaching you.