Building Trust by Honoring Our Friends

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by Dan Weyerhaeuser, Senior Pastor

I am grateful for the joy we share as a Church family in seeing Jesus work in peoples’ lives! I’m also grateful for the earnest hope we have that Jesus would bring healing and new life to people we know who today have not experienced the love of Jesus.

I recently read that 80% of those who make an intentional decision to become followers of Christ were influenced by a Christian friend who they trusted. We believe that the first thing the men, women, and children in our community need is a friend who loves Jesus, a friend they can trust. This is something we all can do, and do well!

At our last Forum, we shared the R.E.A.D. strategy for communication. Over the next few weeks, I’d like to unpack this practically. My wife, whose master’s degree is in counseling/psychology, tells me that one of the most healing things a person can do is to help someone else tell their story.

If we can learn to listen, and listen well to people, if we can learn how to enter into people’s experiences while we’re talking, we will become a presence of healing for them.

Before I get to R.E.A.D (see below), my first question is simply this: Do you spend more time in your relationships with people listening or speaking? This seems like a small point, but, in fact, it is profound. When I mostly speak, I am involved in the relationship in very different ways than when I mostly listen.

When you listen, you…

• Honor your friend by conveying that what they talk about matters.
• Enter in to their life and share in their experiences with them.
• Reduce loneliness in their life.
• Form meaningful attachments between you and your friend.
• Offer an experience of love that can be hard to find anywhere else.
• Represent Jesus who loves people through our love.

You might say, “I want to listen more than I do, but I don’t know how to draw people out.” The next few posts on this blog will help you with this, but the starting place is to ask, are you willing to be a listener first? You give Jesus a lot to work with when you do!

The R.E.A.D. communication strategy

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