NOTE: Following is the discussion guide we’ll use tomorrow (April 27) in our LIFE groups at MoSt Church. This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon that morning. To find previous group discussion guides, look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous issues.
Stated in a single sentence, this is the purpose of this morning’s sermon.
To call us to hear well, that we might serve and speak well, on behalf of Christ.
These Scriptures form some of the foundation of this sermon.
• Those who answer before they listen are foolish and disgraceful. (Proverbs 18.13)
• Words spoken at the right time are like gold apples in a silver setting. Wise correction to an ear that listens is like a gold earring or jewelry of fine gold. (Proverbs 25.11-12)
• The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. (Isaiah 50.4)
• So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. (Romans 10.17)
• Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13.4-7)
• You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger … (James 1.19)
Use one of the following icebreaker questions to prime the pump, to help the conversation begin. Choose one to discuss.
1. “I feel ________ if someone isn’t listening when I’m talking.”
2. Tell us about something, anything, you have learned as a result of careful listening.
These exercises/questions are meant to help us grapple with the Scripture(s) related to this sermon.
1. Using the texts above, make two lists: (a) how, and (b) to what, a godly listener listens.
2. List some instances in the Gospels where Christ served others by listening to them.
These questions assist our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us in our encounter with God’s word.
1. Which is more important: the ministry of listening or the ministry of speech? Explain.
2. How is listening a function, or aspect, of godly love? How is lacking such unloving?
3. Aside from the word “love,” complete this sentence: “To listen well requires _______.”
4. What benefits can come to a listener from their having truly listened to others?
These ideas/suggestions are for your use beyond the group meeting; to aid in living out today’s message in the coming days.
1. Select a person with whom you will practice your listening skills the next two weeks.
2. Work at catching yourself when you tune someone out, and why you did it.