Last week I had lunch with Caleb from Woodstock Community Church to hear what they are doing in the area. It was encouraging to hear their heart for Woodstock and to talk about some shared missional, organic methodology.
I was invited to hear Scott Bain from the Blackbird Network in Indiana speak later that week.
The evening had a very disappointing start – as I was walking down the street looking for the meeting place, another lady asked me if I was going to “the Scott Bain talk”. Gutted! Do I look that obviously like the kind of guy that goes to Christian talks? I did not even have my Bible with me! I so badly wanted to tell her that I was actually looking to score some crack (note to me: look more hard core!) but she looked lost and worried so I confessed my penchant for listening to Christian talks.
Anyway turns out it was a really good evening:
Here are a few take-aways from Scott’s talk:
Listening: people are always dropping clues as to what is happening in their lives, waiting for the first hint that someone will listen. People want to tell you their story.
The problem is that many of us Christians do not know how to listen because we already know how to fix the problem.
Listening will open doors & get you introductions but it does not stop there – how you respond is key. Key to this is gentleness.
Gentleness: People are always watching others to see – “When will you begin judging me?” We are often ineffective in gentleness because we do not believe in Christ as redeemer (certainly at a functional level) in our own lives or in others.
We most often learn gentleness through our own scars. If it does not have scars on it don’t trust it!
If we want to be on mission/have fellowship with Jesus we are going to have to get in touch with suffering people. Jesus knows a lot of scary stuff!
The gospel calls us us to take personal responsibility for the pain and suffering of others around you
Sufficiency: 2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves but our competence comes from God”
This is good news because most of us know we are not sufficient for mission. But we are petrified that we are supposed to be. Sufficiency does not come from us. Timothy reminds us that it is not what we have believed (how much you know) but whom we have believed.