To B.L.E.S.S. your neighbor, Jesus invites you to listen.

Jesus was the ultimate listener. He modeled the skill of listening in amazing ways, and took the time over and over again to show love in what came to be a simple way: He listened. If you want to bless your family, friends and neighbors, imitate Jesus and the way he listened to others. Truly listen. Put your smartphone to the side, turn off any other distractions and be intentional with your time with others. Oh, and ask questions, lots of them. That is how you truly get to know people in your life.

“If you want to love your neighbors and bless the people God has put in your path, you have to become intentional about listening and listening to understand.”

Learn to be a great Listener

When we choose not to listen, people begin to feel unheard, which can ultimately make them feel unloved. We must listen with intention to first understand their hurts, fears, longings and dreams. When you take time to get to know someone, to give them your full attention, that’s when people around you feel truly loved and blessed.

One of the most difficult skills to develop is listening. It’s true. We live in a time when hardly anyone really listens to one another. Think about it… How often do you catch yourself preparing for what you’re going to say next as the person you are speaking to is still talking? Are you truly listening?

How do I learn to be a great listener?

Jesus’ way of loving the people around Him was to ask good questions and then LISTEN. We can do the same!

There are many tools available that can be helpful in teaching ways to be a good listener. Below are a few ways to help you prepare and be intentional as you listen to others.

Four H’s of Listening

Listening is a skill we develop and have the ability to get better at over time. One way you can develop listening skills is coming prepared to conversations and you can do that by using the four H’s of listening. When you become prepared for a conversation, you become a better listening and it will allow you to become a better friend to others.

  • History: Lead with curiosity. “Tell me your story.” “Where did you grow up?”
  • Heart: Learn their favorite things. “What’s your favorite…” (sports team, place to vacation, restaurants, types of food)
  • Hobbies: “What do you enjoy doing in your free time?”
  • Hurts: Are there particular situations that you’re aware of that you could ask about? “How are you doing with (name of situation).”

Additional Listening Questions

Coming prepared to conversation ready to ask some of these questions below will help you gain perspective on the community of people in your particular settings and encourage you to begin conversations in a comfortable manner. Many of these questions can be adapted across settings. Below are just a few to get you started.

Questions for where you LIVE
  • Have you had the opportunity to introduce yourself to your neighbors? If not, how do you plan to do that?
  • Who in your neighborhood had a recent life event? Maybe someone just moved into the neighborhood, had some health challenge or had a baby. Can you naturally offer them something, like a meal or a small gift and card? (Homemade meals are great but so is carry out)
  • Do you neighbors know one another? Can you plan something to bring everyone together? Maybe it’s a neighborhood cookout, bonfire or even planning a yard sale.
  • Who is elderly or disabled? What might they need help with? Maybe it’s yard work, help with trash cans, shoveling their driveway when it snows, caring for a pet, driving them to the store)
  • Is there anyone around your age or in a similar life stage? Can you invite them over for a meal?

Questions for where you WORK
  • Is there anyone new to your workplace? How can you help them feel welcome?
  • Are there ways you can support your coworkers after work? Do you have a coworker who plays in a band or has a hobby that you can support them in?
  • Is there a coworker who always goes out of their way to help or serve you? How could you acknowledge their kindness or express your thanks?
Questions for where you PLAY
  • Where do you go frequently? Maybe it’s the local coffee shop, the gym, the library, the book store, or church. How can you get to know the people you see frequently at these places?
  • How can you do more than simply come in and out of these places undetected, and instead begin to look for small and big ways to appreciate, engage with, and encourage people there?
  • How can you listen and express care for that person with whom you interact regularly? Maybe you pick up your coffee at the same time, or share a morning workout routine, or enjoy the same types of books.


Spend time reflecting on your listening habits and how Jesus is inviting you to love others by not just hearing the words others say but by truly listening.

  1. When was the last time that you really felt listened to, known and loved? Reflect on this time. Who was there? What did this person/people do to make you feel so loved? What were their responses or actions during this time?
  2. Have you ever felt unheard? If so, what was that experience like for you?
  3. Read the story of Jesus healing the blind beggar in Luke 18:35-42. Pay close attention to Jesus’ interaction with the man who was blind. What stands out to you in this story? Listening with intention is something that is learned; it doesn’t come naturally to many people. If you’d like to learn and explore more about showing love to others by listening, check out some of the resources below.

Read, Watch, Listen

Listening with intention is something that is learned; it doesn’t come naturally to many people. If you’d like to learn and explore more about showing love to others by listening, check out some of the resources below.


by Dave and Jon Ferguson

The Reluctant Witness: Discovering the Delight of Spiritual Conversations
by Don Evert | From Ben: “I love this book because it changed my perspective entirely on how people who are not Christians think and feel about having spiritual conversations. And that changed how I think about it and engage it now.”

Joining Jesus on His Mission: How to be an Everyday Missionary
by Greg Finke | From Ben: “This book is really helpful in firing us up to see how exciting it is when we look at our lives as joining Jesus in the work HE is already doing. You will feel called and compelled to live on mission.”

Listen: Surprise the World

How is God challenging and changing you as you BLESS those around you?

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