Who are You Listening to?

In a given week, I have a handful of conversations outside of those with my spouse, family, and very close friends. I think that’s pretty normal for most people but not for senior pastors. If you’re a senior pastor, you know that number jumps exponentially. The problem is, you only have so much time. So how do you decide who you should listen to and who you should ignore?

Let’s break our conversations down into two categories.

  1. Casual Conversations
  2. Church Conversations

We’ll tackle casual conversations in this post, and then church conversations in part two of this post.

Today, we’re talking about the conversations that happen before and after services, through telephone calls during the week, or Facebook messages in the middle of the night.

Most of these conversations are harmless, but that doesn’t mean they’re beneficial. With a limited amount of time, you need to prioritize who you give your time to.

So, here are my suggestions.

  • Listen to those who are seeking God.
  • Listen to those who are new to following God.
  • Listen to those who are new to your church.
  • Listen to those who are genuinely hurting.

Get to know them, learn their names, and answer any questions they may have.

This would be a great investment of your time, but there are some other conversations that aren’t a great investment.

There are just some people you should ignore or redirect to someone else.

Here are my suggestions for those.

  • Ignore or redirect those who catch you every Sunday and just want to “shoot the bull”.
  • Ignore or redirect those who are just looking for attention.
  • Ignore or redirect those who are weird/crazy. They’re in every church.
  • Ignore or redirect those who are looking to get into a theological debate.

I know this can seem unloving or uncaring and as a pastor you don’t want to come off that way, but if you really want to make a difference in people’s lives, you have to learn who to listen to and who to ignore.

What’s the weirdest conversation you’ve ever been a part of between services? We’d love to hear about it, so drop us a comment, and if you haven’t already make sure to subscribe to the blog to make sure you don’t miss part two of this post and other great tips on church growth, leadership, and more.

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