All Saints took a noble idea—listening that fosters relationship and community—and made it real.
With training and support from the Gamaliel Network and Quad Cities Interfaith, the congregation launched two “listening campaigns.” Over a period of weeks, a team of All Saints’ people specially trained in deep listening had dozens of one-on-one conversations.
Watch a video introduction to All Saints’ Listen Strong campaigns, produced by the Southeastern Iowa Synod.
During the first campaign in fall 2013, All Saints’ Listen Strong team strengthened 77 relationships within the congregation. During summer and fall 2014, that team listened to people in the community—neighbors, people we want to know better, guests at All Saints’ food pantry, members of the Quad Cities special needs community. Our listeners didn’t want to stop!
View slides presented by All Saints Lutheran Church’s former pastor, Pastor Clark at “The Power of Listening” workshop at a 2014 Southeastern Iowa Synod learning event
Listening is how humans get to participate in Jesus’ ministry of healing.
The gospels describe Jesus’ healings: they were always more than mere medical miracles. When Jesus healed someone, Jesus also restored their relationships with others and, in the process, healed the whole community. That’s what All Saints’ Listen Strong campaigns are about:
+ Making friends out of strangers.
+ Becoming more genuinely relational people.
+ Changing the culture of this congregation.
+ Rekindling the whole church.
+ Witnessing powerful personal epiphanies.
+ Growing courage to talk about faith.
+ Hearing God moving and becoming more able and willing to follow.
It’s hard to believe such a simple idea could be so cutting edge, but in today’s world, it is!
While listening is free, it’s also unnatural. The training in deep listening cost All Saints roughly $3,000. The investment was totally worth it.