If I have only an hour with somebody, I will spend the first 55 minutes asking them questions so that in the last five minutes I will have something to say which really speaks to them. Instead of speaking past them, I want to speak to them.What pastoral wisdom! Yes, we are to be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us but knowing how to speak requires knowing how to listen. Schaeffer realized that taking the time to hear people out is every bit as important as speaking the truth to them for in so doing we can embody the compassion of Christ. Being people who take the time to sincerely know people by asking probing questions and being willing to listen to their answers can be a powerful witness to our frenzied, multitasking, and increasingly impersonal society.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Asking, Listening, and Speaking
bethinking.org is an excellent apologetics site I've pointed readers to before. I subscribed to their monthly email newsletter and received the November mailing just a few minutes ago. It begins with a brief discussion of the importance of patiently listening to the questions of those we're seeking to lead to Christ as well as of asking good ones ourselves. Francis Schaeffer is quoted in the email as saying: