Written by Kat Goheen
Canada West Mission Centre Co-President
Another look at Spiritual Discernment
Several months ago, I shared with you my take on the roots of spiritual discernment here in this space. Since that time, I’ve continued to learn and explore group discernment, and I have another offering to share, this time about the middle of the discernment process. My course has shown me a wonderful application of this image that Steve Veazey has compiled of six lenses for listening to God, seeing it as a framework for gathering data. These six lenses seek feedback from various perspectives based on their very nature, realizing that all of them are necessary and valuable. What does scripture have to say about our situation? Continuing revelation? When it’s hard to find data for one of them, it can signal a blind spot.
I call this talk on data-gathering, “The Messy Middle” because that’s what it feels like to me. Unlike decision-making, in discernment we don’t rush to conclusions but instead slow down to listen to the voices around us and the still, small voice of God. This often feels uncomfortable to me, and despite my temptation to grab onto the first shiny possibility, I sit and listen and stay open as much as I can in the middle…of it all.
Your congregation may be involved in discernment right now. It feels to me that our Mission Centre is also in discernment, feeling growing pains which prompt us to search for the right question for this moment. Growing in me is my faith in the process and my trust that a committed discernment process will lead to right action. Let us build the habit of a discerning posture and let us be aware of our resistance to change! As a prophetic people, we are called.
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, and Shannon
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537