Consensus discernment processes have many parts. Discernment Groups are one very important strategy for discernment. However groups need leaders – facilitators.
The WCRC, an international ecumenical gathering meets every seven years. About 1,000 delegates attend from over 350 churches. They come from diverse church and social cultures. The meetings operate in four official and two other languages. To run its Discernment Groups the meeting used 18 facilitators.
First time users of consensus discernment
This is the second post where we share with you the experiences of some people who were in Leipzig. Many participants who are sharing in these blogs experienced consensus discernment for the first time. We trust that they will be an encouragement to you. They speak about the value of, and possibilities for, consensus discernment. We hope that you will share their stories widely.
Rev Dr Gonda is Associate Professor in Missiology and Ecumenical Studies at Debrecen Reformed Theological University. The General Council meeting held six sessions for Discernment Groups. Laszlo, a first time facilitator for this methodology, led one of these groups for their six sessions.
His reflections include that this methodology
- helps the church to be true to its character
- encourages us to listen to each other but also to listen for what the Spirit is saying to the churches through one another
- avoids the trap of winners and losers
- allows Christians to express what it believes about the church – we are one
- encourages Christ like behavior
I invite you to spend a couple of minutes listening to Laszlo share about his experience in his own words.
Rev Dr Laszlo Gonda
If you are finding our posts interesting and stimulating then you will find our book The Church Guide For Making Decisions Together a rich collection of practical resources. You can purchase the book through Cokesbury or Amazon with whom we have affiliate relationships. The small commission assists us to maintain this website.
What people are saying about The Church Guide For Making Decisions Together
David Graves, UMC Bishop (Alabama-West Florida): “No one does it better than Corkin and Wallace … Not only will you benefit from their vast knowledge, you will discover practical tools that will help you be a more effective leader. A must read for anyone who provides leadership in the local church.”
Cynthia D. Weems, UMC SE District Superintendent (Florida Conference): “… explore a new and life-giving way of making decisions – a way that values and gives voice to all participants and leads to increased faithfulness.”
David Alan Bard, UMC Bishop (Michigan Area): “Their book is intellectually sharp, eminently practical, insightful in its understanding of Christian faith, and quite simply a joy to read.”
Sr Elizabeth Delaney, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia: “Creative, careful reflection and commitment to Christian communities are apparent on every page.”
How to access your copy
Buy The Church Guide For Making Decisions Together from Amazon or at Cokesbury. By following the link to the recommendations at our virtual store (in co-operation with Cokesbury, the United Methodist Resource Centre) you can purchase a copy and other recommendations in our reading list. You may also browse the whole Cokesbury site from this link and any purchases that you make via our affiliate link will support us here at Making Church Decisions. The link to Amazon also allows you to support our site through any purchases that you make in 24 hours after linking from our site.We appreciate your support.
Australian buyers can choose to contact Terence by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and receive a price for delivery in Australia. Advise Terence on how many copies you need and the delivery location.