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From Decision-Making to Discernment

A Year-Long Program for Church Boards and Ministry Personnel


Congregational boards have the important work of oversight and discernment about the mission of the local community of faith.  How equipped are you for this discernment role?   

Most congregations rely on rational decision making to guide their leadership choices. Liminal seasons invite us to shift out of rational decision-making mode and into a more discerning mindset. Discernment is an attentiveness to God that, over time, develops into a shared sense of God’s intention for us and our community now. This year long program will equip you and your board for deepened group discernment practices.


  • Enter a three-way conversation engaging God, the soul of the leader, and the soul of the institution.  

  • Challenge the default position of most congregations to resort immediately to group decision making.  

  • Deepen their skills as group discernment facilitators.  

  • Learn how to structure a group discernment process and where to locate discernment activity in the life of a congregation.  

  • Develop a toolbox of practices for opening to God and listening to one another.  


  • This is a year-long program, with monthly online-gathering dates of: February 23, March 23, April 6, May 4, June 8, August 24, September 21, October 19, November 16, and January 18, 2023.

  • Space is limited to 24 people; this allows for up to 4 people from 6 boards.

  • Registration and Fee is by community of faith, to encourage board members and ministry personnel to attend and learn together.

  • Fee: $825 for up to 4 board members and ministry personnel from one community of faith


Over the course of the year, your board (3 leaders from each congregation plus the paid accountable minister if possible) will participate in a monthly learning circle. The learning circle will meet with Susan Beaumont six times throughout the year for a 60-minute interactive webinar. Each webinar will be accompanied by a participant resource guide which will include one or more exercises for participants to deepen their group discernment skills. 

On alternating months, you will meet with LeaderShift Director, Allison Rennie, to reinforce the topics covered in the webinars, check in about the exercises assigned by Susan for your board, and explore the issues arising as you develop your skills for group discernment.  


  • Susan Beaumont

  • Allison Rennie, LeaderShift Director

Susan Beaumont

Susan has worked with hundreds of congregations and denominational bodies across the United States and in Canada.  She is known for her ground-breaking work in the leadership dynamics of large congregations. 

Before establishing her own practice, Susan worked for nine years as a Senior Consultant with the Alban Institute. Susan has also served on the faculty of two business schools, teaching graduate level courses in leadership, management and organizational behavior.   Susan brings her experience as a trained Spiritual Director to this organizational level learning and work.

Allision Rennie

Allison is a gifted educator, animateur, and team mate, deeply passionate about nurturing leadership and spirituality of people all ages. Allison has been engaged in raising and shaping leaders for over 30 years. With experience at all levels of the United Church, Allison is currently Director of LeaderShift for the Pacific Mountain and Chinook Winds Regional Councils.

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