the weblog of Alan Knox

Sometimes I talked when I should have listened

Posted by on May 16, 2011 in discipleship | 2 comments

Sometimes I talked when I should have listened

As I mentioned in my post “When there are more thorns than roses,” I’m planning to write more posts about “bad” and “ugly” side of our church experiences. I usually write about the “good,” but I think seeing the other side of the coin can be beneficial as well.

I refuse to write posts that point the finger at my brothers and sisters, even those who disagree with me and others. So, I’m going to write about myself.

After we had been meeting together for 2-3 years, some of our brothers and sisters were concerned about the direction of the church. Some thought the church was moving too far away from our traditional background. Others, believe it or not, thought the church wasn’t moving far enough.

We decided to meet together Sunday evenings to discuss these issues. Anyone was welcome to meet (or not) and talk about whatever they wanted to talk about. While there were disagreements, the tone was usually civil.

Looking back, I see there were times that I talked when I should have listened. I spent too much time explaining my own understandings and interpretations, and not enough time listening to others.

Did I agree with what they were saying? No. But, that doesn’t matter as much as showing them that I love them and care about their concerns. I didn’t do that often enough.


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  1. 5-16-2011


    Again, you are spot on. I have to admit to the same.

    In many cases it may be a problem of arrogant pride,”I’m now the Pastor,full of knowledge which I am going to impart. So! You better listen”

    To be fair to others. Many fellows entering their first church face the enormous pressure of an expectation (very common in Aust.) that they PRODUCE sermons (three each Sunday in my case), PRODUCE bible studies, DEMONSTRATE administrative skills (including chairing and advising every meeting of every group, aside from Sundays and Wednesday nights), at which they are to be consistently endowing those gathered.

    They are expected to be the congregational representative at all other organizations in the town who require a representative from churches.

    The colleges and seminaries from which these pastors come also expect that kind of 24 hour per day 7 days per week involvement, in a PRODUCTION pressure cooker,from very ill equipped, ill prepared fountains of knowledge.

    Many, maybe most, are simply trying to do what is expected of them!

  2. 5-16-2011

    Aussie John,

    Yes, I think arrogance and pride often caused me to speak instead of listening.