East Taieri Church is beginning a discernment series this weekend. Some might argue the title is a bit flippant, but we are trying to highlight that the key to discerning God’s will is building your relationship with God. We ask God and trust God to answer and lead. We also want everyone to be a part of this. I want everyone to be encouraged that they can hear from God. Discerning God’s will isn’t just for pastors, elders or leaders.
I think this is a discipleship issue. We need to be people who are being transformed by the renewing of our mind...then we will be able to test and approve what God's will is... (Rom 12:2) We grow closer to God and discern His voice more and more as we allow God to mould us and bring growth and transformation.
My hope is that people will share stories about how this happens for you. I hope we all grow in our ability to discern God’s will individually, and as groups, teams and a church.
I have prepared a discernment guide which is available at church and on our website. I have drawn heavily on Ruth Haley Barton's excellent book "Pursuing God's Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups" The discernment guide has space to write things. Our aim is that people will give us feedback on what they sense God is saying – either on the tear off feedback page, or by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
This is about discovering more about who God wants us to be and what God wants us to do. In the language of our vision statement it is how we become a thriving church, responding to God's grace and passionately living out our faith, wherever we live, work and play. How we work alongside others to develop thriving communities where people feel connected, known, loved, and valued.