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 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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A Process Of Discernment

  1. 1. Discernment The Art of Finding God’s Call in Daily Life
  2. 2. Discussion questions How are decisions usually made in the church? What problems can arise when congregations are faced with important decisions?
  3. 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. 4. The Biblical Basis <ul><li>Jesus did nothing on his own, but kept in close personal contact with his Father in Heaven </li></ul>“ 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. 5. The Biblical Basis <ul><li>Jesus directed his followers to continue his work in the world </li></ul>“ 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. 6. The Biblical Basis <ul><li>Jesus warned his followers that they would be unable to do God’s work without the closest mutual indwelling </li></ul>“ 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. 7. The Biblical Basis <ul><li>Jesus promised to impart the Holy Spirit to us and remain with us always. </li></ul>“… 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. 8. The Biblical Basis <ul><li>Jesus did nothing on his own, but kept in close personal contact with his Father in Heaven </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus directed his followers to continue his work in the world </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus warned his followers that they would be unable to do God’s work without the closest mutual indwelling </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus promised to impart the Holy Spirit to us and remain with us always. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Christian Decision-Making <ul><li>Pray for guidance </li></ul><ul><li>Gather ideas and information </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate the data </li></ul><ul><li>Apply Christian principles </li></ul><ul><li>Make a decision (vote) </li></ul><ul><li>Offer closing prayers </li></ul>
  10. 10. Discernment—Going Deeper <ul><li>Incorporates intellect, but assumes that God’s mind is infinitely greater than ours </li></ul><ul><li>Often best done in community—mind of Christ is ours together </li></ul><ul><li>Uses Scripture and prayer to open us up to hear God’s voice </li></ul><ul><li>Puts an emphasis on listening—to others and to God. </li></ul>

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