This week I begin work in a brand new place with brand new people. The first thing I’m going to do is listen. But the listening is going to be ongoing…and very focused.
I have recently been reading a book called Church Unique. The premise is that each congregation has very specific gifts and resources. When those are narrowly focused and emphasized, it brings all work and ministry together moving in one direction and seeking a common end.
My listening will begin by paying attention to the things that make this new place unique.
How about you? What is it that makes you, your vocation, your place of employment, your ministry, unique? Begin by asking the questions suggested by Church Unique:
- What are the unique needs around your geographic area?
- How are these needs reflected socially, economically, ethnically, environmentally?
- What special opportunities are found within your immediate sphere of influence (within a half-mile)?
- What is the most significant change in your community in the last decade, and what needs or opportunities do they create?
- What are the largest community events, and what needs or opportunities do they create?
- Because of your specific location, what solution could you provide that no one else does?
- What one positive change in your community would have the most dramatic effect in people’s lives?
When you answer these questions, you will have a starting place, a focus, and and plan.
What questions would you ask to help you become a better listener?