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Discerning God's Will Together


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Danny E. Morris was a pastor in Florida for 22 years, was the director of developing ministries for Upper Room Ministries for 25 years, and developed The Upper Room Academy for Spiritual Formation and the Five-Day Academy. He is the author of sixteen books, including Yearning to Know God's Will. Charles M. Olsen has 22 years of pastoral experience in the Presbyterian Church USA and was the founder of Worshipful-Work: Center for Transforming Religious Leadership. His book, Transforming Church Boards into Communities of Spiritual Leaders, was selected as one of the top ten religious books in 1997 by the Academy of Parish Clergy.


I am so pleased to see this new and updated version of Danny Morris and Chuck Olsen's classic and seminal work on the practice of corporate discernment! It will be a blessing to any group committed to seeking God's will together. -- Ruth Haley Barton, Founder, Transforming Center, author of "Pursuing God's Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups" This update of a ground-breaking work provides valuable tools for groups seeking to be guided by the Spirit in their deliberations. Rooted in theology and tested by experience, its principles and practices attune the faith community to fresh ways to listen for God's leading and build unity. It has significantly shaped how I facilitate groups. -- Victoria G. Curtiss, Spiritual Director and Associate Pastor, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, Illinois Many Christians are clamoring for less adversarial, more spiritual, ways of doing church business. We need to develop our skills, and for this, Discerning God's Will Together remains our essential guide. How we conduct church business matters; indeed, it sometimes testifies more clearly than our gospel proclamation. This book invites us into a dynamic relationship with the living God, such that 'church business' may become the nexus of spiritual renewal. The new edition offers a clear and convincing explanation of what discernment-based decision making is and how it can be applied successfully in a wide variety of situations. The new material very helpfully explores the interplay between discernment in solitude, in small trusting groups, and in large church assemblies, making the practical advice even more useful to those who wish to facilitate spiritual discernment. -- Eden Grace, Friends (Quaker) leader and Consensus Consultant, World Council of Churches A brilliant addition to the body of literature for attending to God's will, this revision of a classic serves both the Church and Academy as a contemporary guide to the ancient practice of Christian discernment. Chuck and Danny have written a must-read resource for prayerful process to refocus decision-making through the lens of the Holy. -- Tara Hornbacker, Professor of Ministry Formation, Bethany Theological Seminary Are you seeking God's longing for your church, committee or personal life? Discerning God's Will Together is an excellent resource for making decisions with God in the center. Olsen and Morris offer hands on instructions and a good solid scriptural base accessible to everyone. -- Valerie Isenhower, Executive Director, Water in the Desert Ministries This is such a helpful offering of a concise biblical, historical, and practical understanding of spiritual discernment. The authors have successfully provided much needed nourishment for the various cultures of discernmentarians who prayerfully yearn for God, and as a result are seeking to permeate discernment as the preferred way of seeking God's will together. -- Stephen A. Macchia, Founder and President, and author, Leadership Transformations, and "Becoming A Healthy Church" and "Crafting A Rule of Life" In the missional renewal of the church today, few challenges are more important than examining the ways we make decisions. The church has been captive to parliamentary models that easily politicize issues, accentuate conflict, and foster division. But there's a rich history of how God's people have approached decision-making more through prayerful discernment than political deliberation. Olsen and Morris have drawn from the wellsprings of these resources in insightful ways that are highly useful for the life of the church today. I've used the approach in this book in rich and fruitful ways, and commend it enthusiastically to others. -- Wes Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary Emeritus, Reformed Church in America As we emerge into a new time of church transformation, we need to learn again the ways the process of discernment can strengthen leadership and forge deeper connections. This book continues to issue a call to develop our spiritual maturity in the midst of change. Charles Olsen and Danny Morris present an orientation for discerning God's will that keeps church leaders moving forward with confidence and enthusiasm. -- Judith A. Todd, Water in the Desert Ministries

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