The truth is, I'm already ready for a listening tour. Listening is a big part of my job. It's certainly my favorite part. Listening to people. Listening for God. Listening for God among gathered people. Etc. I'm not saying I've perfected the art, but its definitely part of what I do.
And here is what I have learned from listening:
There is great transformation afoot. In the world, in the church, and in the lives of many people. Some of it painful. Much of it a struggle. But all of it moving, growing, changing. All of it pushing people towards life.
And I long for a place where people can share that transformation. Deep pain and deep joy. I know I'm not the only one hearing these things. But I spend a lot of time talking to people about them. One on one. With the door closed. And I think, "All these people should be talking to one another. All these people know something. but it's so big and scary, they think they have to keep it to themselves."
So I want to build a community that can call out to the hungry hearts. I want a place where, as Mary Oliver puts it in her poem "Wild Geese", people can "tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine." A place where we don't have to grovel, but just have to be. A place where we can find belonging.
"Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things. "