Warning: Content may be disruptive to your understanding of Christian life, leadership and community

Below are some of the early endorsements of Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups (InterVarsity Press, June 2012). If you would like to be one of the first to read it and receive the lowest price, pre-order from Amazon.

Check back here on the Transforming Center blog or follow us on twitter @TranformCnt. We will soon be publishing the table of contents and book introduction.

“Pursuing God’s Will Together is a much needed corrective to our head-strong individualism today. It drills down deep into the rock-bed practicalities for any community seeking to discern the will of God together. I recommend it highly.”
Richard J. Foster, author of numerous books including Celebration of Discipline and Sanctuary of the Soul

“This book needs a warning label: ‘Content may be disruptive to your understanding of Christian life, leadership and community.’ Ruth Haley Barton has provided every Christian with an invaluable resource for discerning and fulfilling the purposes of God. In a world where Christians and Christian leadership and communities have largely succumbed to secular processes for decision making, Barton brings a clear, challenging and compelling call for a radical alternative. This book is not the product of a ‘theorist,’ but the mature distillation of Barton’s own journey into a life hid with Christ in God for the sake of others. This is a must-read for every Christian leader and leadership group, and a primer for every Christian.”
M. Robert Mulholland, Jr., professor emeritus, Asbury Theological Seminary, and author of Invitation to a Journey and The Deeper Journey

“Ruth Haley Barton knows only too well that discerning God’s will requires a personal commitment to transformation as well as an openness to engage in a group process. In Pursuing God’s Will Together, she shows us in a systematic way how it’s done. Every Christian leader will benefit from such a practical approach to such an ancient practice.”
Albert Haase, O.F.M., author of This Sacred Moment

“Ruth Haley Barton has identified an important issue in spiritual leadership and in how we make decisions, revealing where our integrity as leaders lies. Do we really believe that God has something to say, by his Holy Spirit, in terms of what direction we take? Ruth does a great job of describing practices that can help teams become more adept at hearing God’s voice in the practical areas of leading and serving.”
Doug Nuenke, U.S. director, The Navigators

“It’s impossible to overstate how needed, valuable, timely and timeless this book is. It is as wise as Methuselah and as practical as a slingshot. Ruth has rendered a massive service to church leaders everywhere, and to all the churches they lead. Herein lies the remedy for the sad but common malady we see today: otherwise godly men and women pursuing God’s kingdom with worldly navigational equipment. I plan to buy a case load of Pursuing God’s Will Together upon its release and make it mandatory reading for all of our leaders. It can hardly come soon enough.”
Mark Buchanan, pastor, New Life Community Baptist Church, author of Spiritual Rhythm and Your Church Is Too Safe

“In Pursuing God’s Will Together [Ruth Haley Barton] weaves her own wisdom with others in bringing forth a beautiful tapestry of spirituality in community.”
Chuck Olsen, founder, Worshipful-Work, and author of Transforming Church Boards and Discerning God’s Will Together

“I like this book. It is wise, thoughtful, gracious, and a little bit disturbing – just like its author. If you are like me, you believe in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but you want to be wise and not presumptuous about knowing God´s will for your group. This book is a real gift to folks like us. It provides us with much more than simply a plan of action. You can use it yourself, but also it will be quite useful to you with your fellow decision makers, so that discerning God´s will together becomes an experience in spiritual growth for the whole team.”
John Yates, Rector, The Falls Church

Pursuing God’s Will Together is a powerfully convicting and timely book for those of us who are fully aware that we are incapable of effective leadership apart from God’s wisdom and direction. How to discern God’s purposes individually and as a dynamic team is the genius of this compellingly creative call to kingdom movement. Ruth Haley Barton presents us with a proven–if at times painful–practice that can ultimately take our finite efforts to where our infinite God wants them to go.”
Harold B. Smith, President and CEO, Christianity Today International

“While there has been a revival of interest in spiritual disciplines for some time, there is precious little available about how to practice them in community. More specifically, there is almost nothing about helping Christian leaders discern God´s presence and activities together. That is, until now. With Pursuing God´s Will Together, Ruth Haley Barton–a recognized leader in spiritual formation–fills this need admirably. This is an important, unique book that will be sure to transform Christian corporate leadership from a pure business model to a more spiritually integrated approach. I highly recommend it.”
JP Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and author of The God Question

“Fabulous! I look forward to giving copies to our staff and elders. Ruth provides a practical, powerful road map so we can discern the most important question as a leadership: “What is God´s will for us on a particular issue?”
Pete Scazzero, Pastor, New Life Fellowship Church, author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and The Emotionally Healthy Church

the Transforming Center

desires to see churches and Christian organizations become communities of authentic spiritual transformation – and that begins with transforming leaders. We seek to strengthen the souls of pastors and leaders, equipping them to guide their churches and organizations to become spiritually transforming communities that discern and do the will of God in their settings. Read more about the Transforming Center.


  1. Ruth Barton on May 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I agree that true spiritual discernment can be quite threatening to those who are used to maintianing of personae–whether a person is a leader or not. Another definition of discernment is to “see through to the heart of the matter”–the discernment of spirits that Scripture talks about. If we are not living openly and honestly with God and with others, we would rather avoid people and processes that foster “seeing through” to the spiritual essence of things.

    • Ron Crum on June 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      Reading Pursuing God’s Will Together now with deep appreciation the many years of preparation, practice, and experience it takes to produce this excellence in writing and conceptualizing of this discernment model.

      • Ruth Barton on July 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm

        Thank you for such encouraging words…you are right on the “many years of preparation, etc. This one was a long time in coming! I am grateful for God’s faithfulness.

  2. Tom Feliciano on May 8, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Spiritual Discernment is a gift of the Spirit that the American church is very afraid of! It allows one to see past the mask that a lot of Pastors and Christian leaders live behind. If it was used as the Lord designed it to be used being real would be required.

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