It was good to be in Portland this weekend. I hear from locals that the rain-free weather was unusually bright and beautiful. I just know that the temps were perfect and views were stunning. It was good to breathe deeply in the Pacific Northwest.
It was also a good place to be listening deeply. Dr. Pat Keifert, President of Church Innovations, led a group of us at the Westside Church of Christ in Hillsboro in several exercises in learning and discernment. Keifert says, “Free speech without deep listening is cheap talk.”
Aaron Metcalfe, preaching minister at the Westside Church has used Keifert’s methods to engage his congregation in deep exploration of the Word leading the church to make what Metcalfe says are Spirit-led decisions about the ministry of the church. Both Keifert and Metcalfe would suggest that the small church can be particularly good at reaching the community around them if only they would listen deeply to the cry of the heart of that community.
Future programs with Dr. Keifert are scheduled for 2013.