The Gospel Coalition Blog

20 Apr

How do we get acquainted with someone? We do it by getting to know them; by listening genuinely so we can learn how best we can serve them. 

Cultivate Gospel Conversations by Listening

If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. Proverbs 18:13

listenWe who have the greatest message in the world—the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—ought to be the clearest and most compelling communicators. It’s probably true that we evangelicals generally do well with one-way communication—preaching, lecturing, singing, and writing. It seems, however, that we are not always as strong with dialogue. We don’t always listen carefully. We can be too verbose. We offer unsolicited opinions. We fail to notice. Or we allow ourselves to be distracted by thinking about our response while others are still speaking.

If we struggle in cultivating ordinary conversation, how can we possibly broach difficult faith discussions, which tend to be wrought with deeply held convictions, some of which are antagonistic to Christian faith? The key word here is “cultivating.” Like the farmer who prepares the soil before successfully planting a seed, a number of preparatory measures ought to precede gospel conversation. Such measures grow out of prayer and worship—asking God to stimulate our affections and open doors for connecting with others. This much, I trust, is fairly obvious. It is the subsequent steps that I would like to consider. The first of which is the importance of noticing cues that highlight a person’s openness God.

To continue the remaining article: The Gospel Coalition Blog.

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