Pastor Ed called on everyone in the church to actively listen to one another during the Fruitful Congregations process. Just being silent while we listen isn't enough; we often wait in silence while another person speaks, but all the while we're focused on our own position and feelings. To actively listen we must forget old grudges, set aside our own agendas, and focus on the other person. Active listening is definitely more work--but it also is usually more fruitful. During a group discussion of the message, one person reminded us to read Acts 15:12 again and to focus on what Barnabas and Paul told the others during the debate: "of all the signs and wonders that GOD had done through them among the Gentiles" (emphasis added). Active listening shows love.
The whole assembly kept silence, and listened to Barnabas and Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that God had done through them among the Gentiles. Acts 15:12 (NRSV)