Tag Archives: discernment

The Patient Practice of Sail Making

A little excerpt from the book I’m trying to finish on Luke’s view of the church. The movement and power of the Holy Spirit explains the practices and shape of the church in Acts. This statement bears some emphasis. In … Continue reading

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15:28 compliant: spaces for the storytellers

Let me remind you what I’m doing here in my recent blog posts. I’m taking Acts 15:28 as a decisive clue for Luke’s understanding of the church. That is, the phrase, “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to … Continue reading

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15:28 compliant: considering the testimony of boundary transgressors

One of the implications of the Spirit being poured out on all flesh is that The Spirit’s influence won’t be limited to people you hang out with. And Acts isn’t the story it is without people who transgress the perceived … Continue reading

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Competency two: discerning God’s calling in communal processes of discernment

I think the single biggest assumption that should inform the practice of ministry in congregations is this: God is living and active. Now you would think that this would be a no-brainer. After all, we all would say “Amen” to … Continue reading

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Leaving Room for the Spirit: Practices of Spaciousness

In my last post, I suggested that it takes spaciousness or roominess for a community of faith to discern the moving of the Spirit and gave a few examples of how that space might be collapsed. A few of you … Continue reading

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Spaciousness and the Ability to Discern the Spirit

OK, here’s the deal. The Holy Spirit is always moving in the world, bringing it closer into line with God’s coming future. But we aren’t always discerning of the Spirit’s movement. The key to this kind of discernment is space. … Continue reading

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Rubel Shelly and the Drama of Discernment

At our conference, Streaming, a few weeks ago we focused on issues related to discernment. And some of our speakers focused on the large discernment narratives in Scripture, other on key theological notions. For instance, Luke Johnson dealt with the … Continue reading

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More Metrics for a post-Christendom Age

3. Can your congregation talk about difficult issues without it becoming contentious or divisive? Again, let me unpack the question. The question might also have been asked, can your congregation have a discussion at all? This question has two aspects: … Continue reading

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Why “Bless Your Little Heart” is a Work of the Flesh and other Observations on an Ecology of the Word

In the last post, I suggested that congregational leadership could be thought of around two movements: discerning and joining. Specifically, leadership is responsible for maintaining the conditions whereby the congregation can discern the mission of God and join it. Leadership … Continue reading

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Discerning and Joining: Movements in Leading God’s People in Power

I’ve been thinking a lot about the tasks related to leading in congregations lately. More to the point, I’ve been thinking about how to create a culture within congregations in which they can act, or express their life powerfully (I … Continue reading

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