In two previous posts (March 25 and April 15) on “Go!”, Gary Roberts has discussed the importance of congregations serving the neighbours around the church building. In the last post he answered the question: What is an “Effective Ministry Area?” (EMA) and gave three reasons for defining an Effective Ministry Area. In today’s post, Gary Roberts states,
It is one thing to know the reasons for establishing an effective ministry area (see my previous post, Neighboring: Part 2) but quite another to actually do it. That is what this blog post, Neighboring: Part 3, is about, the How-to. (See also Neighboring: Part 1 – Where You Live Matters.)
Gary Roberts continues.
Ministry and Listening go hand in hand. We can refer to our Effective Ministry Area (EMA) as our Effective Listening Area (ELA). If we minister in an area without listening, it would be like tying to hit a target we cannot see. Blindly shooting at a target is both ineffective as well as dangerous. If we want to effectively minister to people in our neighborhood, it is important that we employ a listening strategy that is realistic and facilitates relationships with our neighbors.
If relationship is the track on which love runs, the same is true of ministry. No listening, no relationship. No relationship, no love. No love, no ministry. So let us consider actionable steps for listening to people in our neighborhoods.
In the rest of the article, Roberts outlines, “Steps to Establishing an Effective Listening Area” and “Defining the Boundaries of Your Effective Listening Area”. If you want to read the rest of Robert’s article, please visit: “Effective Listening Area — Part 3.“