During the conference the bishops gathered together for Bible Study in groups of eight and then in larger groups, called Indaba, for discussions on certain topics. It is these Indadba groups that I will comment on.
One of the more challenging things of pastoral ministry is listening. Ministers all called to be good, no great, listeners. People want someone to talk to and to be listened not preached at or told what to do. Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all.
In my short time in the ministry I have often found that if you just let the person talk they will figure it out all on their own in their own way with their own words. We need to do more listening in the church. We need to really listen to one another and not pre judge a situation or a person.
Listening requires giving up something as well and also it makes us vulnerable to what we might learn in the process. As humans we are so quick to judge one another for all sorts of reasons and that is not right. If we take a step back and listen to the other person, really listen, to their wants, needs, hurts, joys, desires, then maybe, just maybe, we could really minster to them and to our world.
Stop preaching and start listening I guess is what I am trying to say. Also stop judging and start listening. You might just learn something.