Cassie Carroll explains how The Listening in Place Project began out of listening to the church’s need for hopeful stories of change. This post is an excerpt from a three part blog series. All three parts can be found on The Listening in Place Blog.

Here it is where the fun begins: Everyone listens to God differently. The three common ways we hear from God are through the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit and the Church. Being that I much more of an active listener than a contemplative listener I have decided to go on an adventure to hear and gather stories from the Church.

Throughout the last year, God has been slowly giving me a vision of how I could choose to listen for God’s voice over this next year. I have embraced this vision with excitement and nerves. I truly believe that God has something to reveal to me through the adventure that is outlined below, yet I have never embarked on such a journey. The newness feels risky and unknown. However, I am excited to see what this risky, unknown adventure has for me.

I am going to be collecting stories from church planters, practitioners, pastors, social entrepreneurs, and theologians throughout the United States that are rethinking the way we “do” church. My desire is that these stories will provide hope to the Church that has lost a sense of what it means to belong to each other.

There seems to be a lot of fear in the Church today from those that are use to the Church looking a specific way, with a certain way of being. The fear is then heightened by the fact the church buildings are no longer the center of the town or community and there are less and less attending on Sunday mornings.

I believe that God is not done with the Church. There are amazing experiments, creative endeavors, and risky ideas that, I believe, are commissioned by the Holy Spirit and anointed by Christ for the Glory of God.  These stories of hope seem to be hidden. My hope and goal is to help tell the stories of God’s creative movement in the United States. I hope to help the church understand that the Church is bigger than a building or a tradition. God is not done with us.

The truth is that God is not worried about the church building being filled every Sunday or not. God is more concerned with Creation becoming reconciled with its Creator. Following the way of Christ may not look the way it did 30 years ago, but God is still actively pursuing us.

This project is called The Listening in Place Project. I will be blogging and making videos about the people, projects, churches, and stories I encounter. I am also partnering with The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology to produce 10 podcasts for their podcast channel. The Listening in Place Podcast will be posted monthly starting in October 2016. (More information on how to subscribe is to come.)

I look forward to gathering these stories of hope our Church. I am excited and nervous to intentionally listening for God’s leading in my life as I embark on this crazy journey.

The podcasts for The Listening in Place Project can be found on Intersections Blog at The Seattle School or on Soundcloud. Check out more of Cassie’s work on her website.