By Beth Kennett

Over the past few weeks, I have been in settings that have been preparing me for my Lenten journey—teaching a class on Ministry Leadership and Coaching Skills, participating in a Coach Training Program, working alongside of a congregational renewal process, helping a church think about the next pastor, and preparing for a workshop on Vital Mergers. Each of these places and processes has a strong component of prayer and discernment. My reminder and realization is that when we take the time to reflect, pray, and seek God’s direction we are much more likely to discover it—God’s direction, that is.

For individuals, taking the time to pause, meditate, and to be in touch with our authentic selves, helps us to determine the healthiest paths on which to journey; helps us to discover and discern where God is inviting and leading us. For congregations it is the same! Congregations must take the time to simply be together, to pray, to reflect, to seek where God is inviting and leading. In the busy-ness (and possibly the business) of congregational life, we often forget to be seekers, we forget to be faithful people on a journey of discovery and we fall into the habit of being church.

Congregations considering change—whether it is a merge, a renewal process, new leadership, or a new model of doing work—must do so through a process of discernment, a process of prayer, reflection and conversation. Healthy change does not happen overnight. Healthy change happens when we are faithful to our Creator and to who we are created to be.

As you engage your Lenten journey—as an individual and as a faith community—take the time to be in touch with who you are, create and honor the space to pray and reflect on being authentically who God is inviting you to be.