“You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” – James 1:19
In this very noisy and confusing world, we yearn for peace, strength and solace. Connecting to our triune God is of utmost importance and prayer is essential, which is why we are launching a new initiative to encourage healthy prayer. A close second is our need to commune with other kindred souls.
In Life Together, his classic guide to faith in community, Dietrich Bonhoeffer described the “ministry of listening” as “the first service that one owes to others in the fellowship.”
Just as love to God begins with listening to his word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that he not only gives us his word but also lends us his ear. So it is his work that we do for your brother when we learn to listen to him. … Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. (p.72)
The need was great in 1939 when those words were written, and it may be even greater today.
In that light, Renewal Fellowship is launching a new initiative, Listening Ear Here, which consists of a pool of mature believers who are available to meet online (or in person if logistics allow) with individuals who need a listening ear. It’s not therapy, counselling or mentorship. It’s an effort to facilitate a community and encourage believers.
Listening Ear Here is a ministry for the listener as well as the speaker. As Bonhoeffer points out, “he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either.” (p.72)
If you need to talk about where you’re at in your walk of faith, if you have questions or if you just need to “unpack.”, we can pair you with a listener.
This ministry is for adults of all ages and stages of life, wherever you may be in your faith journey. This includes students and young adults, who often find themselves alone. We will do our best to link you with someone of the same gender. Your listener may make suggestions as to additional initiatives you might consider, including the possibility of further ‘listening times’. Our listeners are committed to the ministry of ‘hearing’ and being open to the promptings of the Spirit.
Interested or have questions? Reach out to executive director Rev. Andy Cornell anytime at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.