1. How does the quote from Alexia Salvatierra, “If you don’t listen, you can’t see what God is doing,” challenge traditional leadership notions, particularly the idea of vision casting?
2. In what ways does Tod Bolsinger describe Alexia’s unique ability to discern the work of the Holy Spirit, and how can leaders cultivate a similar capacity for discernment?
3. Discuss the concept of “listening for God’s voice” and “hearing the footsteps of God” in the context of spiritual leadership. How does this impact a leader’s ability to determine the direction in which God is leading their community or organization?
4. How does the conversation between Markus and Tod shed light on the importance of listening to diverse voices, including voices that have historically been overlooked or ignored, in discerning the work of God in the world today?
5. Reflect on the example of the disciples having to force themselves to listen to the women who brought them the unexpected news of Jesus’ resurrection. What does this reveal about the challenges and resistance to truly hearing and seeing what God is doing in unforeseen ways?
6. How does the story of Lewis and Clark learning to listen to a teenage Native American nursing mother offer insight into the necessity of open-mindedness and humility in leadership and discernment?
7. Discuss the implications of the idea that “when there is no vision and you feel like you might be perishing, the most important thing we could do would be to stop and listen.” How might this approach differ from traditional methods of leadership in times of uncertainty and confusion?
8. How can leaders create an environment where individuals are encouraged to listen to one another and to those who have been historically marginalized in order to gain a clearer understanding of where God is at work?
9. Think about the role of “forced listening” and the willingness to open oneself up to other perspectives. How can leaders and individuals actively cultivate this openness in their own lives and communities?
10. How can the practice of active listening and discernment enable leaders to navigate times of transition, confusion, or unexpected circumstances, both personally and within their organizations or communities?