Group Discernment Resources

Group Discernment Resources

For several years, GNA has sponsored the Institute for Group Discernment, in the early years on the campus of George Fox University, then at the Tilikum Retreat Center, not far from Newberg, Oregon.  As a follow-up to the book on this subject co-authored by Jan Wood, Lon Fendall, and Bruce Bishop, the Institute has been a major part of the ministry of Good News Associates.

However, the attendance has dwindled and it is no longer financially feasible for Good News Associates to continue the Institute.  The leading of the Good News Board was that while the format of the Discernment Institute at Tilikum Retreat Center may have run its course, the organization is still committed to the ministry of  helping churches and organizations become skilled in listening to God together in decision making.  There are several ways we can be of service to your group:

We Can Bring the Training to You

Jan and Lon have led various kinds of workshops and consultations on group discernment and are very willing to work with groups that invite them to “take the institute on the road.”  In March Lon led a multi-session training for the pastors and other leaders of Iowa Yearly Meeting, coupled with a lecture for William Penn University.  While we want to be given enough time to adequately deal with the issues, we can do some creative adjusting in the schedule we have covered at the Institute.

We Can Shift From Training to Consulting

In some cases, churches and other groups have asked that we come to them as listeners and problem-solvers, extending the focus from decision-making to addressing issues that stand in the way of healthy group discernment.  Jan has done a good bit of this kind of consulting, reaching into the hidden (and not so hidden) issues that make good discernment possible.  This has sometimes included the unspoken and unresolved issues from the past, standing in the way of listening to the Holy Spirit and each other on decisions that need to be made.

We Can Listen and Help with the Roadblocks

The “bottom line” is that we want to help with the needs of your group, not just in decision-making, but other obstacles that stand in the way of being God’s people.

You can contact us for further information or conversation at:
Lon Fendall 
Jan Wood