|Pine forest, near Bozeman, Montana|
Our leadership team at Redeemer is a discerning group, rather than a deciding group. Our questions are,
God, what would you have us do?
What is God doing in our church family?
What is God saying to us?
I assume God already knows the answers to these questions. Our task is to discern what God is saying, doing, and leading us towards.
Discernment is in direct proportion to familiarity. The more intimate we are with the Lord, the more we hear his voice.
Not everyone in a church family discerns. All are not committed to their ongoing spiritual formation. As a result, such people are unskilled in discerning God's plans and purposes. Don't expect to hear from God if you are not spending much time with him.
Ruth Haley Barton writes:
"It is... important that we involve the right people. A prerequisite for community discernment is that the individuals involved are committed to the process of personal transformation. It is essential that these individuals are experienced in personal discernment as both habit and practice in their own decision-making. One very common leadership mistake is to think that we can take a group of undiscerning individuals and expect them to show up in a leadership setting and all of a sudden become discerning!"
(Barton, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry, p. 198)