LaVerne is an Area Pastor at Willow Creek Church in Chicago.  He was our guest speaker at the annual Connexus Development day at FBC Smyrna.  Among other things, LaVerne has a unique gift of listening.  He has the ability to get to know people in just a few minutes by asking questions and listening.   I invited him to write on my blog today and share some of his ideas on “listening.”


In Acts 2:42-47, Luke describes what biblical community looked like in the 1st Century church. People were discipled, served others, and did life together. They likely knew everyone’s story.  Given the level of engagement and community, it is likely the people were part of most stories.  Relational listening was natural and normal.  It was a place where needs were discovered, growth revealed, and the Spirit of God palpated in lives. Is that true for you today in the community you are connected?

If not, begin listening to stories God sends your way.  The story of a person could be the pathway He chooses to communicate with you.  Listen for God working.  Pay attention to clues that reveal God’s hand and presence.  Check your heart.  Be open to promptings the Holy Spirit may place on your heart and mind.  Sound mysterious? At times it is and we can be confident it was for those in the 1st century church.  God has been and always will be in control. Do not miss an incredible encounter with Him through lives of people on your journey. Prepare to be “filled with awe”.  Listen well!

-Be present when listening:  focus on them
-Listen with a purpose:  what do they need from me?
-Facts become tracts to truths:  watch for the deeper journey
-The ”story” is a home to a marker in their life