Monday, August 21, 2017

A Cambridge God Adventure 6) Listening

Listening is essential in the Christian life - listening to God and to each other (through whom God may speak to us!)  I knew we needed a church day together - which was included on our prayer agenda.  Alas, my six weeks' illness caused delay but on an April Saturday the church met in our lower hall.  Of the active membership (around 70 people) many attended! I have always been convinced that the Lord gives the gathered church the necessary gifts we need to be his church when we gather in his name.  I hoped that not only would we would spend time listening to each other better but also would discern God's gifts among us. Looking back I realize how naively my enthusiasm as a thirty-five year old came across to a group twice my age.  I was amused to read the reservations of one of my older deacons:

I must say that I had my doubts at the very beginning.  Michael had that projector of his, plus the lens which he had remembered to bring on that occasion!  After he had demonstrated his ideas he divided us up into small groups, willy nilly, so that we should get to know each other better and understand our potential in the service of the fellowship.   Dorothy was in my group and she asked me what I did - as though she didn't know already. She asked me whether I had any musical talent, knowing that her father had patiently but unsuccessfully tried to teach me to play the clarinet. I was  feeling my most reactionary and patronizing that day and just wondered where that young man was taking us.

Later on he admitted with good grace that he felt rather ashamed of these feelings and that it was probably a good place to begin!  Each member of these random groups filled in 26 questions about their strengths and weaknesses and as an outcome I encouraged people to regroup in their special interests. What happened next was one of God's surprises...of which many were to follow.

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