“Discernment Team” Defined

One of my goals in keeping this blog is to help keep those of you interested in this new church development updated on our progress in real-time. Keeping that in mind, and since we are currently in the process of gathering a “discernment team,” I want to help define this using information from “Starting New Churches” document that we are using to guide us through this process.

Discernment Team: This is the group who will discern God’s will for the beginning of a new church among a particular people or community. This group will covenant together to work through the gatherings of “Starting New Churches” once they have completed their third gathering. They may or may not continue to be part of the Core Leadership of the projected new church. There are several moments for members of the Discernment Team to reaffirm their commitment to the processes or to move on.

It is important to remember that this group called to begin the process, but not necessarily to be the ones to carry it through to completion in the “launch” phase. For that reason, the team will be small and focused on listening to God’s direction for laying the foundation. Others, who are not part of the discernment team, will later be “called” to be core leaders and to carry out the vision that results from the discernment process (though there will be some core leaders that are also a part of the discernment team).
Currently, we are inviting specific people to be a part of this team. Here is some insight into that process from “Starting New Churches.”

Making the Invitation
We are not looking for people to simply “fill out” a committee. We are looking for highly skilled and highly motivated people. We are looking for Christian people. We are engaged in a spiritual task. This will take time, sacrifice, and faith. The invitation by the convener is to a 16 gathering process called “Starting a New Church.” The guidelines for these gatherings are available at www.PresbyGrow.net. The guidelines give a suggested process and schedule. We strongly suggest that the conveners familiarize themselves with the process before they extend an invitation to others to join in. We recommend the process include all 16 gatherings. When done, if we decide a new church is what God is asking of us, the team will have completed all the work needed for mission grants and to call the appropriate leadership for the new church.

You can read more about the discernment team in the appendix section of the “Starting New Churches” document. The key thing for us is that we have representatives of Mountain View Presbyterian Church (as the “parent” church), representatives of the Stanwood/Camano Island community, and representatives from NPS Presbytery.

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