I was recently challenged by a quote by Ruth Haley Barton:
“The spiritual leader is distinguished by his or her commitment and ability to guide the discernment process so the community can affirm a shared sense of God’s desire for them and move forward on that basis” (Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership).
I don’t know about you, but I find myself so easily slipping into a mode of ministry where I make decisions, instead of slowing down and patiently discerning God’s desire for my ministry, whether that is simply leading a small group, or leading the leaders of small groups.
Let me offer my best definition on discernment before moving forward.
Discernment is the growing, prayerful ability to recognize and respond to the presence of Christ in all things, big and small.
The foundation of discernment is the development of an ongoing, prayerful dialogue with the one Holy Spirit who indwells all of us. Jesus tells us in John 16:13a, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (NIV). As we engage in this dialogue with the Holy Spirit, we begin more and more to be able to distinguish between…Continue Reading