Make Your Own Discernment Flowchart

Back in February, I had the opportunity to travel back to Portland / Camas to speak at Chris Hall’s “Way of the Spirit” spiritual apprentice retreat program. I go to talk about the Bible, talk about discernment, Quakers and be in conversation with retreat goers. Some of the kinds of things I like to do.

While I was there I was reminded of my little discernment flowchart I created last June for my care committee (it’s like a personal support group for people under a particular ministry or calling). The flowchart is a pretty simple, yet fun activity of reflection one can do alone or in a group. So I thought it’d be worth sharing with others, in hopes that you find it useful as well.

Make Your Own Discernment Flowchart:

You’ll need paper, pencil and a little time alone in reflection and prayer.

  1. Reflection on the people and family and/or communities that your work impacts when you say “yes” or “no” to questions of discernment.
  2. Spend some time thinking about your goals, gifts, and work you are responsible for
  3. Develop some core questions that get at both of these things. It may or may not match your style to prioritize these questions so that the more challenging questions are asked first or asked last in the flowchart.
  4. Draw your flowchart. Obviously, it doesn’t have to be like mine. You can make it with “Yes”, “No” and “Maybe.” You can make if you say no, go back to other starting points to encourage negotiation and refinement of opportunities.
  5. Be creative and have fun.
  6. Share in the comments below if you make something.

If I were to do it again, one thing I’d do differently would be to draw it on one of the perforated pages so I could tear it out and take it with me to my new notebook.

Published by

Wess

...is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.