Andrew "The Creature" at Moved Mountains has started a synchroblog, "Discipleship in a Post-Literate Culture". One of the things I’ve had coursing through my cortex is how to put the thoughts and practices that are changing in this Christian life into something that looks like discipleship, mentoring, coming alongside others for the sake of sharing what we’re learning and growing from it. So, I guess this is up my proverbial alley, so to speak.
Basically, I want to be a better disciple, a better learner and listener. I love questions – good questions should lead to better questions, and I’m all over that. But it’s come to my attention that sometimes, whether I mean to or not, I come across as just trying to stir up the waters. Or, I ask questions with an answer already in my mind, and I’m just asking to see if you line up with what I’ve already decided in my heart. And to me, that sounds really disingenuous, mostly because I hate it when someone does that to me. That points out a judgmentalism in me that I had hoped was no longer there. But it also says that I’m not as malleable as I thought, not as teachable, not as much a disciple as I might be a zealot, one who takes a stand no matter what, closing self off to anyone else’s input. I hate that in others, and I display it from within myself – oh, great.
I’ve had to become intentional about asking questions, something I’ve really been putting effort into the past couple of weeks. And then, don’t ask a follow-up. I think I’ve been a slave to "having the last word", and that’s mostly from my own stance that what I know already is better than what anyone else might want to say or teach or extend. But I want to be teachable, want to be a good listener, so I need to let your words hang in the air without adding my own two cents. And that’s hard, but I’m finding that when I can do that, I might be learning something of you, something of your topic, of your heart, of your life’s experiences. A side benefit I’m hoping for is that it might help me be a better teacher, discipler, mentor – because if I’m taking the time to listen to what’s going on, hear your heart in your own context, then I learn, too, and am better able to join in alongside. We’ll see.