Discernment is a time-honored practice in the Christian tradition. In a nutshell, it is the process of aligning one’s will to God’s will. It might sound formal, but we do it all the time, from choosing the college we attend to simply planning our day. We listen to that “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:12) that helps us decide what actions to engage—that’s discernment.
The process of missional discernment is just like that. It is the weaving of three threads—mature and intentional conversations between the candidate and God, the candidate and members of the community, and the community and God. A missional is commissioned when each conversation yields the same, affirming results.
How is a Missional Discerned?
Missional discernment starts relationally: taking a tour with a missional, attending some missional-led events, and attending an info session to meet others and get some of those early questions answered.
Next, aspiring missionals will apply for and attend a welcome interview. Once the interview is complete, they’ll be assigned a mentor who is their guide throughout the process—meeting regularly, answering questions, and leading discussions.
When the candidate is ready, their mentor will ask them to write a brief (1-2 page) essay on their journey. The essay is shared throughout the missional community leading up to a vote. When candidates receive 70%+ positive votes they are officially accepted into the community and are scheduled for commissioning.
As a result of this course of study, a candidate will have a pretty good idea of what unique joys and challenges are present at Community First! Village. Another tip in discerning is to assess your feelings as you learn more. Are you energized by what you experience, hear, and read? God uses the desires of our hearts to guide us to where we are meant to be. If you cannot see yourself living and serving alongside our beautiful neighbors in all their messy glory, then this call may not be for you. If you are feeling the tug to learn more, then it is probably time for next steps.