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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

10 Dec '14

Listening to voices that make us feel uncomfortable

Posted by T.J. Addington
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned as a leader is to listen to voices and opinions that make me feel uncomfortable. It is not that I need to agree with them but I do need to listen to them and evaluate the perspective I am hearing. 

Think of the complexity of the world in which we live. We have perspectives of men and women (often different), first and second generation immigrants (often different), the outlook of various racial groups (witness Ferguson) and significant differences in the outlooks of differing age groups. It is in this environment that we are called to do ministry and advance the kingdom of Jesus - together.

I think it was no accident that Jesus brought together the most amazing group of disciples that would never have bonded apart from Him. He was making the point that in Him we can become one. In Him there is no Jew or Gentile, male or female, free or enslaved. In Him we  are one. The challenge of course is in living that truth out in the real life ministries we are a part of. Not easy indeed but possible if our vision is on the family God is intent in creating as His family. 

That means, however that we need to listen to the voices that make up the family we are a part of. All of us seen from our own perspective while Jesus desires us to see from His perspective. And His perspective takes in all of His people and their views and unique outlooks on life. Can it be uncomfortable? Yes! Can it help us grow and expand our views on life and ministry? Absolutely! It is our unity in our diversity that makes us the strongest as God's family. In that sense I love to be made uncomfortable because it helps me understand Him in a fuller way and the family of God in its fullness. 

The theology of the priesthood of all believers is a powerful reason to listen to fellow believers and seek to understand their perspective. They like us have the Holy Spirit dwelling in their hearts and it is us together that make up the wonderful and diverse family that is His family.