Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Book Review of Pursuing God's WIll Together by Ruth Haley Barton
Pursuing God's Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups
by Ruth Haley Barton
Reviewed by Clint Walker
I am in the process of transitioning our church leadership teams and committees into spiritual communities of practice. In other words, I am seeking to have each team and committee (eventually) not just be a group of people that seeks to do business, but a small group that has a particular ministry and learning focus. The idea is that leadership within the church will be a growing and learning process, and not just another meeting I have to show up to. The teams will become life-giving communities instead of simply obligations. That is the goal.
I was in the process of introducing this paradigm shift when I discovered this book. This book calls leadership teams in congregations and other Christ-centered organizations to become communities of spiritual discernment. The first three quarters of the book teaches the readers how to establish a discernment culture within the organization. The final quarter of the book unveils a clear, practical methodology for practicing discernment in leadership gatherings and communities.
I have enjoyed this book so much that I am in the process of buying the book for each member of the leadership board of our church with my own money. It is a suburb introduction to doing ministry in a different way. It is going to be a great tool for moving us away from a purely business model of church leadership, and moving toward being a wisdom-seeking leadership team. I love it.