It happened again just a few minutes ago.

I was on the phone with a company, trying to get a customer service issue resolved, and I had the sneaky suspicion the service rep wasn’t giving me her full attention.

Oh, she was doing plenty of talking. There was lots of typing going on the background. She was obviously taking notes, trying to be helpful, attempting to take care of my concern.

But she jumped ahead. She assumed she knew. She tried to fill in blanks that weren’t there. And because of that, what should have been a four minute call turned in to 14.

I’m afraid we do the same thing in our churches. Because we’ve been down that road, we think we know the answer to everyone’s question. The only problem is, the question we’re answering may not be the same question they’re asking.

So stop. Breathe. Take a minute, and really listen.

What’s their concern?

What do they need from me?

What clarification do I need to ask for?

How can I best serve them…right now?

If we’ll just listen, we might be surprised to find out what we hear.

Related post: Listen.

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