Spiritual Discovery: A Method for Discernment in Small Groups and Congregations

by Catherine C. Tran, Sandra Hughes Boyd. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

What if decision-makers stopped voting, and instead, practiced discernment and became prayerful “seekers”? This is the goal of the “Spiritual Discovery Method,” a model for decision-making offered by experienced church leaders and authors Catherine Tran and Sandra Boyd. Jane Vennard’s prayer model provides the foundation for the Method, although the authors also offer a modified prayer model gleaned from the teachings of Parker Palmer. Both prayer models have designated speakers, listeners, and time for silence. The modified model includes “open, honest questions,” which is more probing than Vennard’s model. The “Spiritual Discovery Method” begins with Vennard’s prayer model and adds discussion and exploration. The authors use illustrative examples of the Method’s use and discuss its challenges, including confidentiality. Clear instructions for using the Method make this resource user-friendly. Any religious group that seeks a more spiritual decision-making process will find this practical resource invaluable.