Tools for Listeners

Tools for Listeners

Credential Yourself First

“Hi, I’m <name>. I go to your church, and I’m part of the church’s listening team. We’re reaching out to visit one-on-one with Zion people, to build relationships and a sense of community and to hear where God is calling us now. I’d love to visit with you and get to know you better. Would you have 30 or 45 minutes sometime in the next week or so?”

Take Notes After

  1. Take your own private notes with this Private Notes Worksheet (in pdf or Word formats).
  2. Share your public notes with this online Public Notes Form.
  3. Give yourself a high five! Way to go!


Saturday, March 16 - in-depth listening training; listening lists assigned; postcards handed out

Easter Sunday, March 31 - campaign launch; team commissioned in worship; congregational meal after worship will be a great time to start scheduling 1-1s

Sunday, April 14 - first whole-team check in meeting after worship (30-45 min); any team members not present 3/31 will be commissioned in worship

Sunday, May 5 - second whole-team check in meeting after worship (30-45 min)

Thursday, May 16 - debrief as a whole team (roughly 2 hours)

Pentecost Sunday, May 19 - celebrate listening campaign and team in worship; share themes and next steps at congregational meal after worship

Tips on Asking Questions about Zion

You certainly can ask questions about Zion, but you don't have to. It makes sense to ask about faith or Zion, since it's one common interest you know in advance that you share with the people you'll listen to. The trick is to keep the question focused on the person and not on Zion:

  • When was this congregation there for you when you needed it?
  • What excites you about Zion, and what role do you want to play in Zion's future?
  • What was faith like in your family growing up?
  • How would you describe what prayer means to you?

This is not an exhaustive list—just examples of keeping it person-focused.

When we check in and debrief as a team, we'll be listening for common themes, which is another way of saying, potential areas for action together. It will be Zion people taking action together, but the themes won't necessarily be about Zion. In other words, any kind of question could surface a theme, not just questions about faith and Zion.

We could hear about grief, the cost of health care, a love of the outdoors, or an interest in crocheting. It could be anything, and if we hear it 5 or 10 times, we will note it and get those 5 or 10 people together and ask, What do you want to do with this?

To summarize, whenever we are building a relationship with a Zion person and discovering their self-interests, we are learning about Zion, because Zion is the people.