For the last 6 weeks the high school youth have been hanging out at The Altar’d State in Turkey Creek on Wednesdays at 4pm. The event is “Mocha’s with Mark!” It provides us an additional hour each week to be together…to fellowship…to encourage….to laugh…and to be serious. We are able to talk about the things that are coming up, and even more importantly we reflect on what has already happened. That time of reflection is so significant in our growth as Christians and as friends. The connection that is established through serious and exciting reflection is hard to match. Hearing about someone’s heart, about their challenges during the week, about their life, makes everyone lean in a little closer! It causes everyone to support their friends a little bit more over the course of the week. Why is that?
When we allow ourselves to stop and to listen we get to know who people really are. Instead of thinking about what to say next or how something affects us we learn about who people are, who they have been, and who they desire to be! Our compassion levels instantly rise. Our abilities to be better friends increases TEN FOLD! I remember hearing as a kid that God gave me two ears and one mouth; therefore, I should do more listening than talking. When people know that you listen to them and that you care about JUST THEM you have a greater opportunity to be a part of their lives. Your life WILL have a chance to impact them…if you allow them reflection time without interruption. It has been fun to watch the high school kids reflect as a group. They truly care about one another…and more than that, they desire to walk with Christ as a body of believers. The connections that are being established are authentic and powerful. Do yourself a favor today and try to listen a little bit more. My mouth use to move BEFORE my ears opened wide. I know now that if I desire a connection with my students and leaders I need to listen…and listen well. When you know the stories and the realities behind the hearts relationships will truly begin to change.