1. Intentionally listen to another, not to be helpful but seeking an opportunity to create space for the Spirit to do the deep work that only He can do. How arrogant is it to think that I can go deep without the Spirit’s help/input.
2. Listen with dependent hope, embracing the truth that only God’s Spirit can move this person towards experiencing God by expressing God.
3. Listen with curiosity, with theology-directed questions (related to the story) that release the other to wonder about themselves within categories of understanding.
4. Listen for an opportunity to wonder together about a vision of how the other person could relate with another person’s spiritual well-being in mind. When someone starts seeing that, the knot in the soul is loosening into tangled threads. Those tangled threads open the mind and soul to new directions, to consider directions never considered before.
5. Listen for the faint music in the person’s soul that releases the rhythm of the new heart. When you hear the music, you try to put words to the music.
If they say: “This will be hard,” you may want to ask: “Can we add a comma there, and see if there’s something else? Can it be hard and hopeful, or hard and something else?”
But you need to prepare them that it’ll get tough. The narrow road narrows. Put words to the pull of the Spirit, and anticipate the obstacles.
-Dr. Larry Crabb November. 2014