10: Pay Attention
Give ear and hear my voice, pay attention and hear my word. Isaiah 28:23
Jesus said, “I have come to serve, not to be served.” Our mission today is the same; to serve. My mother always said, “The greatest way to serve God is to serve others.” Radical hospitality requires a keen awareness of the needs of those we serve. A person who is truly attentive can often know what someone needs before they even ask. Attentiveness means showing the worth of a person or task by giving our undivided concentration. As our world becomes more and more fast paced, attentiveness becomes more difficult because it requires us to be still and focus on one thing at a time. In today’s society we can wear business and multi-tasking as medals of Honor without realizing how difficult they make things. We all have a basic need to be heard and appreciated and it’s a need that isn’t always met.
Attentiveness requires listening, looking and focusing. Notice who is coming through the doors of your church. Are they a new face, do they look happy, confused, sad or nervous? If they seem to be looking for someone or something, start with a warm hello then follow it up with a “Can I help you this morning?” or “Is there something you need?” Stay with the conversation and forget about everything else for a few minutes and see where it leads. Be kind and generous with compliments. Statements like, “It’s nice to see you again” or “You have such a cheerful smile” make people feel welcome and valued. Let’s face it, we are always willing to return to a place where we felt valued and included.
Here are just a few practical things you can do to improve your attentiveness;
- Look at people when they speak
- If you don’t understand or aren’t clear, ask questions
- Don’t draw attention to yourself
- Don’t be distracted and don’t be a distraction
Look carefully, listen intently and observe others; not because you want to know everything about everybody but because you want to know how God is inviting you to lead one of his children closer to his heart.
Thank you for faithfully embarking and continuing the journey to Entertain Angels.
Adam Janke & Sheri Wolhfert