A Process Of Discernment
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A Process Of Discernment

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These slides describe a process of discernment that could be used by individuals or a congregation. I prepared this set of slides several years ago. Since then I have become convinced that slides......

These slides describe a process of discernment that could be used by individuals or a congregation. I prepared this set of slides several years ago. Since then I have become convinced that slides like these have far too much text on them. Nevertheless the slides could be used as the basis for a hand out on discernment. They could also be reworked to use images and less text for a more effective presentation. That’s something I may do myself in the future.

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  • 1. Discernment The Art of Finding God’s Call in Daily Life
  • 2. Discussion questions How are decisions usually made in the church? What problems can arise when congregations are faced with important decisions?
  • 3. What is Spiritual Discernment? Spiritual Discernment is the quest to discover God’s will for us so that we can follow that will.
  • 4. The Biblical Basis
    • Jesus did nothing on his own, but kept in close personal contact with his Father in Heaven
    “ I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as God instructed me. And the one who sent me is with me; and has not left me.”—John 8:28-29
  • 5. The Biblical Basis
    • Jesus directed his followers to continue his work in the world
    “ As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world”—John 17:18 “ You did not chose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will last”—John 15:16
  • 6. The Biblical Basis
    • Jesus warned his followers that they would be unable to do God’s work without the closest mutual indwelling
    “ I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit because apart from me you can do nothing.”—John 15:5
  • 7. The Biblical Basis
    • Jesus promised to impart the Holy Spirit to us and remain with us always.
    “… the Holy Spirit whom God will send in my name will teach you everything…”—John 14:26 “ And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age”—Matthew 28:20
  • 8. The Biblical Basis
    • Jesus did nothing on his own, but kept in close personal contact with his Father in Heaven
    • Jesus directed his followers to continue his work in the world
    • Jesus warned his followers that they would be unable to do God’s work without the closest mutual indwelling
    • Jesus promised to impart the Holy Spirit to us and remain with us always.
  • 9. Christian Decision-Making
    • Pray for guidance
    • Gather ideas and information
    • Evaluate the data
    • Apply Christian principles
    • Make a decision (vote)
    • Offer closing prayers
  • 10. Discernment—Going Deeper
    • Incorporates intellect, but assumes that God’s mind is infinitely greater than ours
    • Often best done in community—mind of Christ is ours together
    • Uses Scripture and prayer to open us up to hear God’s voice
    • Puts an emphasis on listening—to others and to God.