Listening is a foundational and core practice of joining the Holy Spirit on God’s mission in our neighborhoods, but listening can be difficult in today’s day and age. Resonate Global Mission missionaries and ministry leaders practice listening every day, and it’s something we work toward in Resonate’s Go Local journey.
The sheep hear and know the Shepherd's voice! Listening requires slowing down, curiosity, and presence.
“We listen to God’s voice through his Word and Spirit, and through one another, in order to discern how to best help our neighbors hear, love, and follow Jesus with us,” shared Al Mulder, who facilitated many groups through the Go Local process as a Resonate Local Mission Leader.
Here are some ways you can practice listening:
1. Spend Time Reading Scripture and Praying
Throughout the Go Local process, we spend time in the Bible and prayer using the practice of “Dwelling in God’s Word,” a form of Lectio Divina. We focus on one verse or passage of Scripture and read it a few times, pausing in between each time to reflect on words or phrases that stuck out to us. What might God be saying to us through this verse or passage?
2. Go for Walks
Go for regular walks in your neighborhood. Leave the headphones or earbuds at home and pay attention—what do you see? What do you hear?
3. Practice Active Listening in Your Conversations
Active listening is about more than hearing what another person is saying—it’s about understanding what they say too! Rather than waiting for your turn to talk or thinking about what you’ll say in response, make a conscious effort to pay attention to what another person is saying. Make eye contact, paraphrase and reflect back what someone has said, and ask open-ended questions to learn more.
4. Ponder the Shema
Ponder the call to listen in Scripture, the Shema, in Deuteronomy 6:4-5: “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one, and as for you, you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” The Shema is not only about hearing! It’s about doing.
5. Participate in a Go Local Virtual Café
Every month, we join in conversation together over video call and discuss discovering and participating in the Holy Spirit’s work in our neighborhoods. We share stories, learn together, and inspire one another. It’s a great opportunity to practice listening to those around you and to the Holy Spirit too. Interested? Fill out this registration form.