Resources and Comments in Response to “Delighted and Disillusioned with Discernment”
n “Delighted and Disillusioned with Discernment” (the August 27, 2012 Alban Weekly, adapted from the recently revised and updated edition of Discerning God’s Will Together: A Spiritual Practice for the Church), Charles Olsen comments on the growing interest in discernment as a spiritual practice. At the same time, he acknowledges the frustrations people have experienced when they’ve made a sincere effort to discern and follow God’s will, only to find that the outcome wasn’t as they had hoped. Olsen’s response to these frustrations is to stay with the process of discernment.
In particular, advises Olsen, stay with the discernment process in the face of multiple world views, diverse personality styles, and even divergent biblical and doctrinal sources. Patient and prayerful discernment “may seem at times messy” as the “Spirit will often turn us on our heads.” But practice is always worth it.
What resources might help you and your congregation to engage fruitfully in a spiritual discernment process? In addition to items listed at the end of the book, please consider Grounded in God: Listening Hearts Discernment for Group Deliberations and Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups.
What are your stories and thoughts on this topic? And what resources do you suggest? We look forward o hearing from you.