‘Here I am’ resources
Author: Children, Youth & Families Team
Publisher: Diocese of Norwich
A resource to encourage and support meaningful conversations, for all ages, drawing upon aspects of chaplaincy - through being present, being available and intentional listening.
1 Samuel 3 recounts a conversation between God and young Samuel long ago. When woken in the night by a voice calling his name, Samuel, thinking it is his mentor Eli calling him, replies saying, ‘Here I am.’ It took three times before Eli realised that it was the Lord calling Samuel. What followed was one of the most significant conversations between a child and God recorded in the Bible.
Few of us would say that we are the best listeners. Our minds wander: we often interject too quickly; or at best we remain conscious of the potential interruptions of others, and mindful of the time. Consequently, we can hardly wonder that God’s voice often remains unheard, and our need to connect meaningfully with God and with others unmet.
Here I Am offers four simple questions to facilitate honest conversations and is suitable for primary aged children to the most senior of us. Although it can helpfully be used for conversations between adults or between children, we would also encourage you to invite young people to sit with older generations and to use these questions as a starting point for a conversation – and then to do it the other way round.
The resource comes complete with an explanation of how it can support a meaningful conversation and why saying ‘Here I Am’ to another can be transformational for you both.
We pray that you will hear God’s voice through your conversations, and times of silent listening, knowing that you are both precious to God, unique and of infinite worth to him – and that your conversations matter!
How to use Here I Am…
- Lay out the cards on a table and allow time for each of you to think about the questions, they don’t all need to be answered. There is even a blank card for you to add your own question!
- Take time to listen respectfully, without interrupting or changing the subject.
- Take time to notice the significance of what is said through the words and the physical responses your friend makes.
- Show that you are listening by giving your full attention.
- Remember that each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made and utterly loved by God.
- It is good that we don’t all have the same ideas and opinions, and right that we should listen openly.
- Remember that God is part of your conversation too.
- You may wish to pray the prayer together as you begin.
- Be encouraged that as you practice listening to others you will discover the privilege of saying to another, ‘Here I Am’, and become a better listener in the process!