Listening

One Sunday a few years ago, I was trying to get one of my daughters dressed for church in a cute pants and blouse outfit when she started crying. Between sobs, she kept saying, “I don’t like it! I don’t want to wear it!”

Typically, I would push through such episodes to get her dressed and out the door, but for some reason, I stopped and listened. Once she calmed down, my daughter explained that she didn’t want to wear pants because she preferred wearing dresses to church. But more importantly, she thought people would laugh at her because she would be wearing pants.

What she had been saying (“I don’t like it!”) did not really reflect what she meant. And on this occasion I took the time to stop and listen well enough to realize it. So, we went and picked out a nice dress instead. We were a little late, but I was reminded how important it is to stop and truly listen, not just with our ears, but with our heart.

Too often, my instinct is to act first. But lately I’ve been trying to listen more, especially when it comes to what God is asking of me.

I pray that during the next several months you stop and listen to what God is asking of you. The Call to Action effort has conducted a ministry needs assessment to identify where additional support and resources are required for us to fulfill our potential as a congregation and our calling as doers of the Word. God’s work awaits, and more hands are needed.

As the apostle Paul mentioned in his first letter to the Corinthians, God has blessed us each with spiritual gifts to serve the common good. If we listen with our hearts, we might hear how He wants us to use our gifts for the good of our ministries at St. Philip.

In the coming weeks, we will be asking every member of our faith community to assess their gifts and where they might be able to use them to serve God’s mission. But you don’t have to wait. If you hear God calling you to serve – whether as an usher, counter, teacher, greeter, outreach, finance, music, property, etc. – please ask any member of council or staff how you can put your gifts to work at St. Philip, and we would be happy to help connect you with the appropriate ministry.

A few weeks ago, we sang “Here I Am Lord” in worship. The hymn is a good reminder to listen to what God is asking of us and that we are not alone when responding to His call.

Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord?

I have heard You calling in the night.

I will go Lord, if You lead me.

I will hold Your people in my heart.

 

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