A good word about discernment!
Part of consulting is Emergency Room work. When a congregation is bleeding, the bleeding needs to stop before anyone can step back and think big picture. However, in our fix-it-quick, put-a-Band-Aid-on-it culture, another part of consulting is making sure congregations slow down so they can prayerfully reflect upon and discern God’s will for their ministry.
In her excellent book, Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups, Ruth Haley Barton suggests that a key to discerning God’s will is to reach a state of “indifference.” She contends that to hear God, we need to stop listening solely to ourselves and the world. God needs us to become “indifferent” to the many worldly and ecclesiastical agendas we bring into a planning process so that, individually and collectively, we can listen for God’s agenda. Striving for a spiritual state of indifference is essential if we are to be truly…
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