Serving as a leader and in ministry every week I realize more and more the importance of listening and when I mean listening giving my full attention and not just hearing. I would like to encourage you in this moment to pause for one minute and listen to all the sounds around you.

1 minute pause…………

What did you hear? Building work, children playing, cooking, arguments, music or God?

Monkton Combe School recently offered me a free space on a Graydin coaching course and while on the course we learnt about listening to the heart, head and steps. As a coach you are the facilitator and not the expert and the journey is all about the person you are working with to how they see the journey and the destination. This does take away any power from the coach, however when you are coaching someone you see their heart and aspirations as it is unique to them.

Therefore, within the context of coaching it essential to listen to let the person who is being coached release what’s in their heart. The reason for getting you to pause earlier was to make you aware of the sounds that happen that we take for granted the sounds around us, for example the sound of nature birds singing, the wind, the rain and God etc.

When we read the story of Job he goes on a journey with God and has he appears to have a lot of downs and not so many ups. “Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders (Job 37:14 NIV). My point is we need to allow times in a day of stillness and give God space to talk. I believe at times if we don’t listen properly, we can miss the sound of God’s heart and of someone’s heart crying out for help or guidance.

As Bath YFC we have recently seen a rise in community mentoring through Churches being more aware of members of their community needing support and for someone to walk alongside them. As we are all aware this generation of young people have gone through a global pandemic and in terms of their social skills they have been impacted. This is where we have the opportunity to listen, encourage and put down our agenda and simply just be there.

A young person from a ffcommunity in Bath that went through the mentoring process recently has gone from staying in at home everyday to walking to the local shops to get a drink and a chat outside the local Church once a week consistently. This week this young person has now gained enough courage to ask if the next mentoring session could be to go and watch the new Marvel Thor movie at Longwell Green. You can see the change in this young person through them being more animated in their facial expressions and most importantly a mentor giving the time for a heart to be he heard.

Therefore, in the coming weeks do give listening time to everyone around you and to listen to God in the way he speaks to you. Also, what if as the Church we were prepared to listen more could we create more hope in our communities and for the community to see the character of Jesus through us.