How Is Listening Our Unity?
- Last Updated: Friday, 11 November 2016 15:46
- Published: Sunday, 25 August 2013 17:52
- Written by Wilma Zalabak
Grace Chapel Fellowship is a church to bless other churches, where listening is our unity. So how does listening work as unity?
If you will, please read the articles listed in the Listening menu of this website. These describe the listening I teach and give an idea of the societal goal I have in mind. I will love to discuss with you the ideas there presented.
I wonder if our ideas of church unity are skewed toward "common enemy" and "insider superiority" motifs. This distortion naturally leads to the requirement that insiders think and act alike and showcase at least token differences from the outsider. This is not the unity I seek.
Grace Chapel Fellowship seeks to build an alternative kind of unity based on a different way of being with people. It may be called gift listening, smart and safe listening, calm presence, no-agenda listening, silent listening, strong and available listening, or no-agreement-required listening, among other things. It neither allows nor leads to apathy, but instead requires immense courage and wisdom. It is a listening of respect and joy in being intensely and intentionally present together with each other and with God.
With this kind of unity there are only two groups of people excluded, those who withdraw and those who violate the rules of respectful listening. No one is excluded for any other reason.
First, this kind of unity fits the most life situations and makes the best sense of the most human relationship data. Second, this kind of unity demonstrates best how differences can be respected and empowered within the unity. Third, this kind of unity with its exclusion only of destructive elements demonstrates how I believe God dealt with evil. Fourth, this kind of unity demonstrates how God apparently operates toward humans, a silent Presence giving just enough encouragement to keep us talking.
I think American government, churches, and businesses want to find ways to multiply, not restrict, the numbers and varieties of activities and forms, beliefs and languages, and missions and motives acceptable among them. I believe the practice of the Listening kind of unity will help us find creative ways not to let diverse forms or beliefs clash while keeping them vibrant. I believe Listening can help American people to find the win-win in every situation. Then we will be known as the "Listening People," together affirming, celebrating, and empowering our diversities.
This is the dream for Grace Chapel Fellowship.
Talk to me about it, okay?