St. Andrew's Lutheran Blog
Dear Friends and Members of St. Andrew's:
Years ago I accepted a position as a nursing home chaplain. I was very excited to begin this ministry. One of the reasons I was excited is that I would have the opportunity to supervise an intern from the seminary, something I had never done before. When I interviewed prospective interns for the first time there were two that really stood out, but I could not decide which one would be the best fit.
I called a mentor to seek advice. He said, "John, whichever one you select, make sure that they are teachable." This is a rule that I have followed ever since. When we interview prospective staff members here at St. Andrew's, among other things I always try to discern if they are teachable and have a healthy sense of humility. If they are not teachable and if they are lacking in humility, they and everyone else they minister to and with are in for pain.
To be teachable essentially means that you desire to learn and are open to new ideas. To learn and to be open to new ideas means that listening is essential. Robert Greenleaf, who is credited as being the "The father of servant leadership" (the real father of servant leadership was Jesus), once said, "Listening is a profound experience. It means you are open to new ideas." Wayne Dwyer said, "Strive to be interested rather than interesting."
Jesus knew that we humans are like this. I think this is why Jesus said again and again, "Let anyone with ears to hear, listen." This week and again next week we will (hopefully) hear these words of Jesus. Notice that Jesus did not say, "Let everyone with ears;" but rather he said, "Let everyone with ears to hear, listen."
May each of us who "has ears to hear, listen."