- Get a big white paper / carton-board and write on it with big letters “HERE TO LISTEN” (decorate if you want to)
- Choose a location to sit where you are visible and where it is easy and inviting for a person to come sit next to you (a park bench, a wide stair, camping chairs, etc).
- Simply be a listening ear to whoever walks up to you (which doesn’t mean you don’t speak at all, that would be awkward, but where the focus of the conversation is on them and their story).
- Get into at least one conversation with a stranger, and bonus points for more people 🙂
- When waiting for a stranger to join, don’t be distracted, looking disinterested or be on your phone. Instead, look friendly and inviting, smile and seek eye contact with people.
- If people don’t know exactly what to talk about, you can suggest some of these examples: their happiest moment, a struggle they are going through, something they wish to achieve in life, a decision they need to make, questions they’ve been wondering about, etc.
- If it fits with the conversations, you can in a natural way ask if you can say a short prayer for them then and there.
The inspiration behind this challenge
Check out this wise quote from the Bible: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
Generally speaking, we’re doing plenty of talking. In our busy, high performing society, we are surrounded with platforms that have made it as easy and quick as possible for us to share all of our own thoughts and opinions. But how often do we take time to listen?
People all around us have a story. Struggles, hopes, questions… Think of how much we can learn from each other, encourage each other and support each other, if we take the time to listen and get to know people. Rather than just doing what we want to do and talking about what we want to talk about, we create opportunities to meet people where they are, to love them and serve them.