Set an example for the believers in speech, in life...

Justin told me to express my thoughts more in this forum more so I will have a go.

I have an assignment that I'd like your help on.

Paul Grimmond from the Briefing has written me this note:

I am writing in order to ask if you would consider writing something for us to go in our 'Pastor's brief' section on the topic of learning to listen as a pastor? Tony and I had a chat about the importance of developing listening skills and helping pastors learn to listen healthily to criticism and just generally being willing to listen to their people. And we thought it would be good to hear from someone who has learned over the years to listen. It's kind of a back-handed compliment isn't it? It's not meant to be rude, but rather an acknowledgement that it is an area of your character that you have had to work on developing that some others might have naturally but lots don't. We reckon people are likely to learn more from someone who has wrestled with learning to listen.

I am not offended by Paul Grimmond's comment rather encouraged that at least on this point he must think I am making progress.

His email made me think about the Apostle Paul's first letter to Timothy:

1Timothy4:11 Command and teach these things. 12Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

I was encouraged that someone had seen some progress in at least one area. And also thought I should say yes because we are to set an example for others in speech, in life, in love, in faith etc.

So I have started a process of introspection.

I thought it might help me to evaluate how I have changed in this area particularly and what areas I still have to go in so I might become more like Jesus and more useful to others in.

Anyway if you can think of some examples of where I have changed in this area I am keen to hear them

If you think it is a too personal example maybe you might like to email me or call me (02 9660 2444) rather than comment below.

ps I am a little nervous about the whole exercise so be gentle.