Session 7: Just Listen!
By the end of this session you should be able to:
- Put into words what happens when we find we are listened to by another person
Identify the feeling present when we are not listened to
Consider different ways in which God interacts with us, causing us to listen and how we might block them
State how we might better listen to ourselves, body, mind and soul as one being
Reflect for a moment on the pastoral care you have received and the pastoral care you have given over the past week. Bring this before God with thanks for those who God has used to touch you and those God has used you to touch.
Ask God to open your eyes to new ways of giving and receiving pastoral care as you work through this session.
The most common word for to listen in Hebrew is לְהַקְשִׁיב. ... Another word is לְהַאֲזִין (leh-hah-ah-ZEEN). If you look carefully at the word, you may notice that its root is א.ז.נ (a.z.n), the same root as the word for ear – אֹזֶן (OH-zen).
Since the last session – jot down:
Pastoral care I have received
Pastoral care I have given
Draw a picture or a symbol for an ear next your list when it has had to do with a time of listening.
How many verses are there in the bible about listening? (use a search engine or if you have one, a Bible concordance!)
In your reflective learning journal jot down one(s) you are most familiar with.
Where and when do you need to be listened to? Add as many examples as you can think of from your personal experience in many different settings eg church, health service, work place, etc and then reflect on how the experience affected your feelings.
Think of some times when you were not listened to with care and attention – how did that affect you? You may want to create a table do this:
Now think of times when you were listened to with care and attention – how did that affect you?
Upload the things you are comfortable sharing from your lists onto the discussion forum and compare your experiences with others.
Does anything surprise you, either about your own experiences or those of others?
Have an online chat……..
Listening to God
How many ways can you identify from Bible stories where people find themselves listening to God?
List them in your learning journal noting
Ways of Listening Involved
Once you have found 5 ways, compare notes with others via the discussion forum, then keep going – and see how many you come up with overall. What do you notice about the way(s) people listen to God in the Bible? In your personal experience, how many ways can you relate to and what difference have they made in your life and walk with God?
Think of a time when you felt God was not listening and in your reflective journal note how that affected you.
Then think of a time when you felt God was really listening and in your reflective journal note how that affected you.
Listening to God with Others
This is sometimes known as spiritual accompaniment, and is valued within Derby Diocese as a ministry. You can find more information about this on the Diocesan Website here.
Read Proverbs 2: 1 – 5, making a note to any words that strike you from this passage. Why is it important to listen to God? What might get in the way when we are listening to others and to God?
Listening to Ourselves
"Let your heart guide you...it whispers so listen closely." ~ Walt Disney
"I listen with love to my body's messages." ~ Louise Hay
"I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen." ~ Ernest Hemingway
Has anyone ever said to you, “just listen to yourself?” Sometimes it is meant in a derogatory sense, but there is a lot of wisdom in these words that might affect how we listen to and care for others.
As we become more aware of ourselves, we can become alert to any barriers that might be in place or which need to be in place before we can listen to others as well as to God.
How might you listen to yourself through these:
In your reflective learning journal writing down everything you can think of for the following:
When I am tired I notice ……..
When I am anxious I notice …..
When I am in a good place I notice ….
When I am struggling with someone I notice ……
Add your own items to this list and then discuss them with someone you trust. Ask if there is anything else they think it would be helpful for you to include eg when I am hungry I notice ………
Spotlight on Doctrine
From what you know of the story of Jesus how did he take time to listen to himself, God and others? Write three things down in your learning journal for discussion on the Study Day.
Spotlight on Spirituality
Listening to God is at the heart of every kind of spirituality. In some spiritualities that is done in a very meditative and still way (often called contemplation); in others it is a very active thing (walking, gardening, doing a prayer exercise such as the ones we did in session 4). How do you feel you best listen to God?
Spotlight on A Safer Church
With what you already know about promoting a safer church, what are the main issues you have identified this week in order to be safe when involved with pastoral care? Make a note in your learning journal for discussion on the Study Day.
What has particularly struck you in this session? How will you use some of what you have learned as you live out your life of faith?
Blessed are you, Lord our God, all things come from you:
from you come our life, this world and all that we have and are.
Help us to love one another as you have loved us.
Blessed are you, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.
Something Practical To Do
Write a quote or choose one from someone else about the art of listening. Write it up and ask your incumbent (or Warden in a vacancy) if you can place it on a noticeboard in your church, on your website, or on the door where people enter. Listen to/watch for any reaction it might provoke.
Share some of what you have found on the discussion board in the Forum (this post is required for those taking the assessment).