I had a rare privilege this week. I spent several hours with Dallas Willard, Richard Foster and John Ortberg. Not live, but on a very special video captured at a Renovaré event designed to introduce the core themes of Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God, Willard’s classic, first published in 1999.
This paragraph, from the 2012 expanded edition of Hearing God helps to understand the heart of Willard’s intent:
“It is very important to remember and to always keep before your mind this fact: You are an unceasing spiritual being, created for an intimate and transforming friendship with the creative Community that is the Trinity. Learning to hear God is much more about being comfortable in a continuing conversation, and learning to constantly lean on the goodness and love of God, than it is about turning God into an ATM for advice, or treating the Bible as a crystal ball. My hope is that this book will help you develop an ongoing relationship with God that will involved conversation, communion, and consummation (from the author’s note).”
The DVD includes six thirty-minute sessions that incorporate teaching from Dallas Willard along with conversations with Richard Foster and John Ortberg.
The six sessions are titled:
- You Were Created for Intimate Friendship with God
- What Hearing God Is Not
- Trinitarian Fellowship
- The Still Small Voice
- Hearing God in the Kingdom of God
- Hearing God as a Life
Like every opportunity to hear or read Dallas Willard’s teaching, a notebook and pen is essential. And in this case…the DVD remote (so you can hear again what he just said). For me, every session had a moment (or several) when I made a mental note that I will need to keep this DVD so I can hear it again.
Included with the DVD is a very simple six session discussion guide with a simple set of discussion questions designed to help group members get to the heart of Dallas Willard’s teaching. The discussion guide also includes a simple homework assignment to be completed prior to the next sessions.
Clearly this DVD and it’s related discussion guide (as well as the book Hearing God itself), will not be helpful for every small group. But, for groups that want to grow in their ability to hear God, to seek a richer ongoing conversation with God, this is absolutely a must-add to your recommended list.