• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Robust dialogue

Meeting with leaders this week, I have been struck by the capacity of our leaders to engage in ‘robust dialogue’. Robust dialogue is where people discuss or debate a topic in a very open and honest way that allows for better decisions to be made.  Robust dialogue though can be uncomfortable at times because pushback may be strong and ideas or supporting arguments are not readily accepted.  However, it is rich, wild, tense and exhilarating.robust dialogue

Robust dialogue is not yelling at one another.  One writer described robust dialogue this way: “It is the ability to address any issue in the team or organization as long as there are not hidden agendas or personal attacks.” So a team has to have an ethos or a ministry framework that allows this kind of dialogue, conversation and hearty discussion to occur.

Robust dialogue will only happen, though, when two elements are in place.  First, a strong hold on one’s personal value in Christ. The deep assurance of Christ’s love and righteousness drive out our natural tendency ‘to seek to be right’ in all our conversations and discussions.  It’s the ‘expulsive power of a new affection’ that restructures the way we talk to and discuss with others. Second, a willingness to listen well.  James exhorts us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger (James 1:19).  Most of us are more ‘quick to speak and slow to listen’.  Our hearts need to be re-trained to count it as more important to hear a person out, seeking to understand their point and argument first.  We can learn so much from others and engage them well when our hearts are settled in Christ and our ears are open to listening to others well.

Pray for us as we continue in robust dialogue this week!

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