A bishop observed that people in the church today have become "tribalistic" and the church has become "deaf."
In an interview on "The Edifi Podcast With Billy Hallowell," Bishop T.D. Jakes discussed about culture, division and his new book, The Christian Post wrote.
Jakes emphasized the importance of fulfilling God's command to preach the gospel.
"I think the first thing we need to do is go on an expedition and go beyond the borders of the safety of our sanctuaries and finally fulfill the Matthew 28:19 commission to go into all the world," he declared.
However, the bishop said that listening to people is also necessary.
"But before we teach them, let's listen. Because I think there's a huge disconnect between the sanctuary and the solar orbit that it encircles. And that difference makes a difference in how we approach the Great Commission."
Jakes noticed that people in the church are "tribalistic," wherein they "stay on [their] tribe."
Further, he warned that "tribalism" leads to conflict and people must break barriers to beat this culture.
"Tribalism always leads to war. Always. You have to break down the wall and not build walls between us, but draw circles around us and begin to talk. ... I'm talking about actually becoming friends with people. It's hard to hate somebody you understand."
Asked about how people "get better with understanding", the bishop replied that "listening" is relevant, adding that a person can never be a "great communicator" unless he is a "great listener."
He also said that if someone speaks "fluently and lose [his] hearing, [his] speech will deteriorate down to the level of [his] hearing."
Jakes noted that the church itself "has become deaf."
"I think that the Church has become deaf. And in so doing, we're so busy teaching and talking. And we have our lines down pat and our talking points down, [but] we're not listening."
Further, he stated that the country is suffering because the "society" and political leaders failed to listen.
"They're so busy fighting between the right and the left, that they can't hear the people they represent. It seems not to matter what the people think anymore," he continued.
He then pointed out the relevance of empathy, just like how Jesus did with Mary and Martha when Lazarus died - He wept with them.
Asked if what people could learn from his latest book, the author responded that change does not come from influential people but from ordinary individuals.
In conclusion, the bishop said that one can have his voice heard but it is also important to listen to others, equating this practice to respect.
"The mic is in your hands. Let your voice be heard. But listen to other people as well," he said.
His new book, "Don't Drop the Mic: The Power of Words Can Change the World," was released just last month.
In 1996, Jakes founded The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas. The church has since grown, having 30,000 members and 50 ministries today. He was recognized by Time Magazine as "America's Best Preacher" in its September 2001 issue. New York Times also regarded him as "One of the Nation's Most Influential & Mesmerizing Preachers."