Neil Tomba kicked off Fathers Forum Fall 2021 with his topic “The Listening Road”.
As a pastor in Dallas, Texas, Neil Tomba noticed a disturbing trend among people in his church—they were finding it increasingly difficult to speak about God to those outside of the church. In 2019 he decided to set an example for his congregation and set out to bike across the United States, speaking—and, more importantly, listening—to strangers from all walks of life about faith, their experiences, and matters of the soul.
Along the way, he discovered people were eager to share, largely because they were unaccustomed to anyone wanting to listen. He began to wonder, What if, instead of rushing to judgment, or to provide answers to people’s questions, we could approach everyone—family, friends, coworkers, strangers—in a way that was based on our relationship with God? Loved. Invited. Accepted. Welcomed.
The Listening Road is a timely journey of what it looks like to meet people precisely where they are, to find meaning and substance by listening to their stories without judgement, and to lead conversations out of curiosity and love. Real conversation and connection is possible, even in this tense and fraught time, when we create spaces of grace and enter in with the intent to listen.