Discerning in a Community

The following is a re-post from January of 2013. Today, I leave to gather with this group again, for the 16th year. Together we seek to know what God is doing in the others and to live the real call of messy community. I can’t wait!

Our original gathering purpose was a ministry that we all believed in and were invested in. But the conversation went so much deeper over the weekend: who we were, difficult relationships, calling, ministry dreams.

15 years later, we still gather together for a weekend. We laugh, eat, and worship together. But mostly, we ask each other, “What is God doing in you now?” And after 15 years of listening together, it is pretty clear to us the many places that God is moving.

I find it difficult to feel like it is really a new year until I have been with this group toward the end of January. They hear and call out places where I am seeking my own kingdoms, instead of God’s. They hear and call out places where I am hiding from the real work of transformation. They hear and call out where I have grown to look more like Jesus. They remind me that life lived and discerned in a community is richer, brighter,  and wilder than life lived on your own.

These dear friends know the deepest and darkest caves of my heart. But more importantly, they know the places where God is actively re-creating me. And they celebrate redemption alongside of me, as I do in them. This is the group that I trust enough to ask, “What next?” because they have been listening for God in my journey for so many years. They know the distinct flavor of when I am one with God and they will push me towards that sweet spot. I trust the wisdom of this group to be discerning the will of God.

Long before I studied Ignatius or discerning the spirits, I knew the love this group of people.

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