The disciples gathered at Pentecost waiting for a sign. They sat together in a room telling the stories of Jesus and his promise to be with them. Suddenly, a wind rushes through the room, touching each person. 

All those present began to hear the good news in their own native tongue. Some thought they were drunk, others were astonished. What we are proposing with these lessons is a Pentecost moment for your church.

When you tell the stories of Jesus, what is the good news you hear? When you take that good news into the community how do you speak and hear one another’s language?

It bears repeating that all these lessons are meant to be rooted in prayer, scripture, and relationship. Discernment is a spiritual practice for both individuals and communities. Whatever rituals your community practices, add them to each of these lessons.

It’s not meant to be a strict guide, but it does follow an order we feel can be helpful if you’re just beginning.

To give you a sense of our journey we’ve included this video. It was first shown at a NEXT Church gathering, and explores our journey to build affordable housing. We’ve come a long way and we’re proud to share that journey with you.

mission, not rescue

Our story is one of discernment. It is about our imagination and willingness to listen to how the Spirit is speaking. Discernment is about ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ It’s knowing why you choose to do one thing opposed to another. This module is built to start conversations around values and beliefs. It’s meant to help you get to your “why.” 

relational discernment

The next two lessons explore what it means to do discernment together. This first lesson looks at the work that needs to be done within your congregation. The primary tool we’ll be using is called a relational meeting.

community discernment

It’s time to take the show on the road. Discernment helps us refine our “yes and no.” We need to understand our values and each other. We also need to be in relationship with the community we seek to serve. We can’t be everything to everyone, but we can be something. This lesson is about beginning to find out what that something might be.

exploring your what

We’ve spent some time developing our why. People in your congregations have had a chance to speak and be heard. We’ve walked the community and talked with our neighbors. Now, we want to spend time getting creative with what we’ve learned.