By Roberta J. Egli
Earlier this week, I went on a Sabbath day journey to the Pacific Ocean. As I sat watching and listening to the waves crash upon the rocks, I was renewed in body and spirit. I took a video so that in the messiness of my office, I can listen to the restoring sound of the waves and be reminded of God’s love that washes over me. At times I get overwhelmed by all the noise of the news of this world as well as my task list and I need reminders of WHO calls me to the ministry of Messy Church. I am convinced that we all need to carve out times of deep listening to our Creator God to renew our souls.
What are the renewing sounds that call you to listen deeply to God?
Keeping Christ in the Center is our April blog series focus. In my earlier post, I shared ideas of how praying together as a team is vital to keeping Christ in the Center. Today’s emphasis is to listen deeply to one another in your team sessions to stay centered in Christ in both your planning and putting those plans into action. Listening deeply to one another builds trust in each other, trust in the unfolding of your Messy Church experience and trust in the Spirit of God who moves within and amongst you.
As I was preparing a workshop on team building, I came across an article describing a multi-year study Google implemented to discover what practices made a team effective in their work. To their initial surprise, the number one factor in creating an effective team was TRUST. Effective team members “felt safe taking risks around their team members…they felt confident that no one would embarrass anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea.” This study from Google reaffirms many of the stories from the bible that learning to trust begins with listening deeply.
Some actions to assist your Messy Church Team build TRUST!
- Listen First- Listening deeply shows respect for how others think and feel. Can we listen to one another while we suspend our judgement?
- Show compassion-try to understand the perspective of members of your team
- Keep it Real- be willing to share your doubts and struggles as well as your strengths and joys
- Set the Example- back up your words with your actions
- Be Helpful- this sounds basic but when we get busy we sometimes forget to help one another
- Disagree Respectfully– yes there are times we will disagree but remember in the midst to show the love of Christ and respect each other
- Be Humble- be willing to learn from one another and admit your own mistakes
- Show Gratitude- learn to identify, recognize and celebrate the gifts of all the members of your team
- Invite diversity- look at who is missing from your team? Invite a teenager, a single adult, a messy church family member or whomever is missing to join your team
- Take time to listen some more!
My prayers are with you take time to Listen Deeply to how God is leading you as a team.