How do we make decisions listening for God’s voice? “Spiritual Discernment”

I recently heard about a good church leader who told his priest that he would attend no more meetings that began with the spiritual practice of Dwelling in the Word. He wanted meetings to return to a short prayer, a list of actionable items, and discussion and voting on each one. He is an active member, a solid contributor to the budget, and true to his faith. If he starts boycotting meetings, certain things won’t happen in that congregation.

His priest has come to believe that people gathered for meetings consider the issues before them more faithfully and effectively when they listen first to the Word, and then to one another through a regular ritual of hearing from everyone, considering what God might be up to in the issue for them, and deep, full, creative conversation open to everyone.

The church leader’s vision of meetings and the priest’s are not that different. But the spiritual habits embodied by the meeting-goers in the priest’s vision help everyone to regularly ask questions about God’s presence and activity in whatever the congregation must decide about. The leader is not used to that. It takes more time and seems odd and unfamiliar. Perhaps even uncomfortable.  How can he begin to see the outcomes waiting on the Holy Spirit might bring?

Would you like to practice such a style of meeting? Would you like your church leaders to learn how to do it, and through practicing it, find out why it’s important?  Attend a “Spiritual Discernment for Thriving in Change” workshop to learn the practice, and change the tone and direction of your meetings. Try it for 3-4 months and see what you learn. Write to ptellison@churchinnovations.org for more information.