Hello Church Family,

Good evening to everyone! As many may recall we were not able to conduct the first of two Zoom calls for our book read. So, we will make another attempt tomorrow, March 31, at 6pm.

Chapter 1 page 28 "It is easier to belong to a group than to belong to God....Group-think is a substitute for God-think--[it is] the belief that God is found only by our group. The next step is to establish that identification with our group as the only way to serve God."  Question:   Do we function like this? If so, in what ways?

Chapter 2 Question:  In what ways are we as group and individuals practicing and cultivating spiritual practices ( engaging the scriptures, prayer, self-knowledge & self-examination ), and how are these practices transforming us?

Chapter 3 page 50 , " If you don't know how God is leading you, you won't know how to lead others.

page 51 , " We commonly assume that we can assemble a group of undiscerning individuals and expect them to be discerning leaders.
5 foundational beliefs that lead to sound discernment practice:
1. Spiritual discernment is a process that takes place in and through the Trinity. pg 53
2. The impulse to discern- to want to respond to Christ in this fashion- is in itself a "good spirit" that needs to be cultivated. pg.54
3. A deep belief in the goodness of God. pg 54
4. The conviction that love is our ultimate calling- love for God, love for self, love for others and love for the world. pg 55
5. We are committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed to us. pg 56

Question:  In what ways do we practice any of the above?

Chapter 4 page 76 , " But as inspiring as the idea and the reality of teamwork is, it falls short of what Christians are called to be. Those of us who come together to lead church and organizations with a Christian purpose answer to a deeper calling: to move beyond teamwork and live into that great spiritual reality called Christian community. "

page 77 ," One of the fundamental differences between a team and a spiritual community is that a team assembles around a task and is bound together by a commitment to that task.....Spiritual community, on the other hand, gathers around a Person- the person of Christ present with us through the Holy Spirit ."

Question:  Do we function more like a team or a community, and in what ways?

Chapter 5 page 90 , " Values are not ideals; they are actual ways of being and qualities of character that are real and possible for human beings, although living them often come at a price.

Question:  If you were asked by anyone what our top 3 core values were what would you say?

Chapter 6 page 108 , " No one grows by doing what someone else forces us to do. We begin to grow when we finally want to grow. All the rigid fathers and demanding mothers and disapproving teachers in the world cannot make up for our own decision to become what we can by doing what we must.

page 111 , " No matter how committed we are to community there is always the temptation to allow the demands of ministry to squeeze out the time it takes to cultivate community. As much as we are committed to discernment, sometimes decisions get made too quickly, without enough time to listen fully to the wisdom of the whole community. "

Questions:    As it concerns your call, have you ever felt or do you ever feel forced to do or be something you are not ready to do or be?; What has frustrated and/or encouraged you the most about our decision making process during Rev. Small' s tenure"

Rev. Small, Sr.

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