Ep. 426 The Four Types of Transformative Listening

Ep. 426 The Four Types of Transformative Listening01

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Shows Main Idea – To help a person change, you must listen to them to understand what is happening and how they perceive the problem. However, the skill of listening must go beyond the scope of the person’s unique understanding of the problem. A skilled listener knows more and perceives more. Like parenting, if you don’t know more than the child, you’ll not be able to lead them well. With the Spirit of God’s help, you can understand the problem from the struggler’s perspective, plus bring other-worldly clarity in ways they have yet to perceive.

Show Notes

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In the last three Life Over Coffee episodes, I talked about the danger of the biblical counseling movement passing its prime. In the last one (Episode 425), I mentioned a few practical solutions that could help change our current course positively. (Those podcasts stirred a lot of conversation in the biblical counseling world.) One of the reasons I mentioned a “passing the prime” possibility is that there has been a lack of innovation in the movement over the past two decades. In this episode, I will share with you one—of many— ways we can innovate by maturing in our understanding and practice of listening in counseling contexts.

  • Why we’re passing our prime
    • Illustration: When influencers were few
    • Illustration: When music was great
    • Anyone can receive certification, and we can’t ignore the conflation that folks attach to a certified biblical counselor: certification equals qualification in too many minds.
      • (Merely mentioning this conflation problem is not enough. We must distinguish the practically qualified counselor from the novice.)

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What Is Innovation

  • It’s deep, not wide: our innovation must go deep; we cannot widen outside the scope of God’s Word.
  • Josiah, the integrationist (and a few of his friends), wants to broaden the scope of biblical counseling.
  • Some of the folks on Twitter deleted their tweets about my original podcast, while others denied being an integrationist.
  • Deepening our understanding and practice of biblical counseling means plummeting the depths and plundering the treasure trove of God’s Word regarding orthodoxy and orthopraxy.

Types of Listening

  1. Micro (Empathetic)
    1. Stepping into the story of the counselee, hearing the actual words and the heart producing those words.
  2. Macro (Sympathetic)
    1. We will not lead them well if we don’t know more, perceive more, and add more to what they are saying.
  3. Pneumatic
    1. Prayer and prophecy are “hearing” from the Spirit of God and speaking to the counselee according to your understanding of what God wants them to hear
    2. The conscience is our inner voice, which can be dull, hard, weak, or the sweet spot where our inner voice and the “Spirit’s voice” are on the same page.
  4. Scriptural
    1. The filter is God’s Word, nothing more. The boundary of the Bible is clear.
    2. Theological training is our orthodoxy (Bible knowledge).
    3. Theological practice is our orthopraxy (Applying the Bible).

Direct Video Messages

Call to Action

  1. What do I mean by deep and wide regarding innovation? Why is going wide (outside of Scripture) dangerous?
  2. What is one way you can deepen your understanding and practice of God’s Word, practically speaking?
  3. Which type of listening is a strength of yours? Why?
  4. Which type do you need to mature more? Why?
  5. Are you a student of God’s Word? How would you rate your theological training (knowledge), Scriptural wisdom (understanding), and comfortableness in knowing where things are in God’s Word (practical)?

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