“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  

- Jesus

Turns out that Jesus says this a lot…even from what would have to be an exasperated heart.  The life everyone is looking for is staring them in the face.  What they have all longed for has arrived.  The reality is, however, that most of us are so comfortable in the familiarity of our frustration and pain, that even the real hope of change gets overlooked.

You can’t scream loudly enough to be heard

by ears not ready to hear.

One of the many coaching methodologies we have been trained in taught us something super helpful.  We are not only applying it as a filter for which clients we engage, but it has also become our filter for ministry commitments and even personal relationships.  It states that a person changing is not possible unless these three conditions apply:

  • They are in pain.  (They are discontent, things aren’t going the way they hoped, etc.)
  • They are motivated to change.  (Many of us have gotten so familiar with the disappointment we are experiencing that we’ve almost made an agreement with its’ inevitability.  We’ve lost the desire to do something about it.)
  • They are coachable.  (They are actually open to someone coming alongside them.  Literally having ears to hear.)

With a happy and relatively healthy marriage that has produced six children, we are often pursued for marriage/parenting advice.  

After 15 years of walking in a powerfully transformative men & women’s ministry message, we are frequently sought after for one-on-one conversations.  

But we have come to realize that very few people…

…actually have ears to hear.

Some of those marriages have reached a point of enough pain… 

that they are no longer motivated to do something about it… 

and are so dug in on their opinions about who is to blame…

that change is virtually impossible.

Many of the leaders we encounter are frustrated and overwhelmed.   They seem like they are open to doing whatever it takes to get their teams and companies healthier.  But in our experience, it is a pretty rare class of individuals that truly are.  We have walked away from numerous coaching opportunities that didn’t pass that simple three question test above.

We are interested in investing in real change.

We won’t commit to work together if we don’t feel like it is possible.

We can’t afford to waste your money or our time.

We really see our coaching ability as a Kingdom resource.

If this were just a J-O-B to us, where maximizing short term revenue was our gain, we would take anybody’s money... but not if we are going to approach this work like a calling.  If we are going to view this work as our unique contribution to the Kingdom, other rules apply.

We only have so many hours in our days.

We only have so many clients we can invest in.

If real change isn’t possible, we simply don’t have the time.

I used to be a little perplexed about how I seemed to have endless resources of time and energy for some (companies, couples, individuals) and little or no patience or time for others.  When I learned this litmus test above, it all started to make sense.  

One of my core values is “restoration”.  I have unbelievable reserves of energy, passion, and commitment to things where a person, marriage, or company is really ready and open to change.  I have gotten really comfortable with where I feel led to commit my time, energy, and good heart…and where I don’t.

I am privileged to invest in hundreds of men (through ministry).

In dozens of leaders and their companies (through SummitTrek).

I am deeply encouraged by the growing community of leaders who have ears to hear and are hearing.  I do my best to not be too discouraged about the rest, bless them, and move on.


  • Do you have ears to hear?
  • Are you hearing and making changes accordingly?
  • Are you ready to invest the time, resources, and heart in the ways that will actually result in you ending the year in a different place than you started?