the shape of leadership

The Discerning Leader

Eight keys to discern the right next step

Leaders face a mounting number of decisions, many of which are connected to difficult situations, hard realities and uncertain terrain. Whether it’s choosing a future direction, launching a new initiative, hiring staff, promoting volunteers, or choosing between right and wrong, leaders today need a healthy dose of discernment.

Discernment is the God-given ability to see and judge issues — and their source — through the lens of spiritual truth. The gift of discernment not only distinguishes truth from lies, but it also recognizes the spiritual forces at work behind the issue.

When a leader lacks discernment, it becomes difficult to influence positive change. Why?

The lack of discernment leads to a lack of good decisions. A lack of good decisions produces a lack of healthy results. A lack of healthy results brings the leader’s credibility into question. And when the leader’s credibility is in doubt, his or her influence deteriorates. You can’t lead a church or organization in a positive direction when influence evaporates.

In this edition of Make It Count, we’re going to discover how to become a discerning leader by digging into eight important keys. In these lessons, you’ll learn how to do the following:

The lack of discernment leads to a lack of good decisions.
  • Discern truth from falsehood
  • Discern God’s voice
  • Discern your vocation
  • Discern the best decision
  • Discern when to move forward
  • Discern healthy relationships
  • Discern team-building decisions
  • Discern opportunity from distraction

As you read these lessons and discuss them with your team, you’ll be equipped to discern the right next step. Whether it’s a step toward truth, knowing God’s voice, clarifying your call, making the best decision, choosing the right time to move forward, building healthy relationships, developing your team, or pursuing the right opportunity, these insights will cultivate the discernment you need as a leader.

This eight-week study, which appears in the July/August 2019 issue of Influence magazine, is now available online as a free download. Church leaders can print multiple complimentary copies of this resource and use it to promote development, spark discussion and inspire vision among team members.

The online resource also includes a fill-in-the-blank guide for team members to use as they follow along with the studies.

Adapted from the July/August 2019 edition of Influence magazine.

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