Danny Silk: The main goal of conversation is not agreement

From Danny Silk, Keep Your Love On:

Some people think that talking is communicating. But talking is not communicating unless it has a goal, a purpose. Most often in communication, the goal is agreement. But if our goal is agreement, then what happens when we disagree? I must persuade you to agree with me, or vice versa. But unfortunately, persuasion has a way of slipping into pressure, manipulation, and control. The priority of agreement demands that there really can’t be two different people in the conversation—there can only be one. The longer you refuse to respond to my efforts to convince you to agree with me, the more anxiety grows in the conversation. Before long, the battle lines are drawn and we are allowing our need to be right to overtake our need to protect our connection. The conversation becomes a fight over which one of us has the right perception, the right answer, or the right decision.

If connection is the priority, then the goal of communication cannot be agreement, because then one person has to disappear when there is disagreement. And guess what? People do not always agree. If we want to keep two powerful people involved and connected in a conversation, the first goal in the conversation must be to understand. The person whose goal is to understand says, “I want to understand your unique perspective and experience.  I want to understand the truth of what is happening inside you.  And I want you to understand the same things about me. If I understand your heart, then I can move toward you in ways that build our connection. I can respond to your thoughts, respect your feelings, and help to meet your needs.”

The results of this conversation are going to be radically different from the one whose goal was agreement alone.  Pursuing the goal of understanding will help you progress through increasingly deeper levels of honesty in order to build true intimacy and trust in a relationship.

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1 John 2: Solved the sin-problem for good

I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin. But if anyone does sin, we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s.

1 John 2:1-2, The Message

Tomorrow at Explore

Thirteen years ago Explore started.  What was it trying to do, and how did it set about doing it? 

Tomorrow Annette looks at one of Explore‘s core values: Journeys.  At Explore we are all journeying together, we’re all accepted, everyone’s included and there’s space for all to contribute.  Our Rector Steve leads us in Communion and there’s one of our popular bring and share lunches after the service.  11.15am, Ottery St Mary Parish Church. 

Revelation 5: You purchased a people for God and made them a kingdom

Revelation 5:9-10, New Testament for Everyone:  

They sing a new song, which goes like this:

‘You are worthy to take the scroll;
you are worthy to open its seals;
for you were slaughtered and with your own blood
you purchased a people for God,
from every tribe and tongue,
from every people and nation
and made them a kingdom and priests to our God
and they will reign on the earth.’

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Tomorrow at Explore: The Resurrected Life

In tomorrow’s service, Fiona Rimmer unpacks what our lives can look like since the resurrection of JesusHow can we ‘practise resurrection’?  The children will stay in for the whole service this time.  11.15am, Ottery St Mary Parish Church.