Top Topics


Please join us on these social networks:

Day1 Store

Books, CDs, Videos & more

Visit The Store

The Passionate Jesus

Day1 host Peter Wallace's new book on the emotions of Jesus is, according to Marcus Borg, “An illuminating and powerful personal meditation." Ideal for personal or group study.

Buy Now

The Rev. Margaret Marcuson The Rev. Margaret Marcuson

Rev. Margaret Marcuson helps ministers do their work without wearing out or burning out, through ministry coaching, presentations and online resources. Margaret is the author of Leaders Who Last: Sustaining Yourself and Your Ministry and Money and Your Ministry: Balance the Books While Keeping Your Balance. She served as a pastor for 15 years.



Member of:

American Baptist Churches USA

How Well Do You Listen?

January 05, 2012

How well do you listen? I've come to realize that I practice selective listening. When I was a pastor, I was pretty good at listening when I visited people in the hospital or had a conversation about a pastoral need. As a coach to pastors, I've become quite good indeed.

But I don't listen well to those closest to me. I had a rude awakening last year when I attended a workshop where one of the homework assignments was to listen to someone at home for five minutes. I told my husband about the assignment, and asked if I could listen to him. Before we started, I confessed, "I don't listen to you very well."

"I know," he said. Moment of truth! For years I have "listened" to him while taking care of tasks around the house. It always seemed like a good time to unload the dishwasher or put away the laundry. In the seven or eight months since that conversation, I've been trying to actually listen when he talks to me, without doing anything else. It's been good for me, and good for our relationship.

In this age of multi-tasking, listening may be an endangered art. I'm not sure it's possible to listen to someone while you are checking e-mail. This year, I want to continue to try to improve my listening, especially to those I'm closest to.

A second way I don't always listen well: when I think more about how I'm going to refute what the other person is saying than about what they are actually saying. In a committee or board meeting, it's easy to think about why the other is wrong and how I'm going to convince them I'm right. This year, I also want to practice better listening in meetings. I want to spend more time listening and less time thinking my own thoughts.

What do you notice about your own listening?

Get the free mini-course, "Five Ways to Avoid Burnout in Ministry" at


Printer print
Comment comments

Topic Tags

No current tags

Previous Article By This Author

How to Reframe Your Resources

Previous Key Voice Article

Stay Thirsty My Friends

Next Article By This Author

Is It Time to Rest?

Next Key Voice Article

Epiphany: A light to the world

The sermon content on this website is copyright © by the respective authors. For information on reprinting or excerpting sermon materials from this site, please contact us.

Add A Day1 Member Comment

Day1 Member comments have been temporarily disabled.

If you would like to comment, please use our Disqus below: