An Invitation: Summer of Listening

The first rule for understanding another person is paying attention, and an important aspect of paying attention is active listening. How can you hope to better understand someone without taking the time to listen without distraction?

How does a congregation discover needs and opportunities in its community? Perhaps the principles of active listening and paying attention are key ingredients for advocacy work, too.

As a part of their new collaborative partnership, Mid-Atlantic CBF and CBF Virginia are launching an initiative called Summer of Listening. Why now? The protracted season of COVID has changed just about every aspect of congregational life; the same is true of ministries, non-profits, and schools in our neighborhoods. The only way to discover new and emerging needs is to ask and listen.

Will your congregation accept the challenge? Here’s what’s involved:

  • Make a commitment to engage in a summer of listening.
  • Determine specific helping agencies, ministries, and schools you desire to engage.
  • Make contact with each one and set up a time for conversation.
  • Share stories of needs discovered that your congregation feels called to address.

If you are concerned because your congregation has never addressed your community in this way, we are here to assist. In fact, we will provide an introductory video instructing you on how to have a community conversation. Then, throughout the summer, we will share stories of how churches are taking part in this important work. Rest assured, you are not alone! And remember, advocacy is an incredibly powerful form of missions that impacts the world God loves!

For additional information about Summer of Listening, contact:

Sean Roberds, Mid-Atlantic CBF (

Mark Snipes, CBF Virginia (