Tonight our community will practice what Richard Foster calls “corporate guidance”. It’s also known as “clearness committees” in the Quaker tradition. The pretext of our meeting is the following:

A couple in our community prayed individually and felt separately that God wanted them to buy us a house. They shared their feelings with each other and then told us about it. Lollie and I prayed about it and felt that we should submit to our church’s stewardship group. They will meet with us and the couple tonight and we will worship, pray and seek God’s guidance regarding this matter.

The whole concept of corporate guidance is an exciting prospect for me, and I would dare to say our community. We live in such a highly individualistic society that it’s easy to live without submitting to anyone. In his book “Celebration of discipline” Foster quotes Virgil Vogt saying, “If you cannot listen to your brother, you cannot listen to the Holy Spirit.” We want to listen to our brothers and sisters tonight.

Foster also writes, “God does guide the individual richly and profoundly, but he also guides groups of people and can instruct the individual through the group experience.”

In corporate guidance we ask God to speak through the body of believers. Everyone brings a unique perspective and whisper of God to the discussion. The body works in rhythm with God’s Spirit towards a ‘Spirit-directed unity.’ This means that we’ll spend a lot of time praying and seeking God’s face in the situation.

The idea is then to come to a point that Foster describes like this, “Unity rather than majority rule is the principle of corporate guidance. Spirit-given unity goes beyond mere agreement. It is the perception that we have heard the Kol Yahweh, the voice of God.”

I praise the Lord that we’re in a community where we can embark on this part of the journey. I feel safe because we are in relationship with the people we’re meeting with. We have shared meals and resources and joys and tears and been in each other’s houses and workplaces and … you get the picture.

I’m really excited for tonight, it will steer our stewardship meetings away from being a pure business meeting. I agree with Foster when he says, “Business meetings should be viewed as worship services.” May our talking, praying, discussing and unity bless God!

If you’re reading this, please pray for our meeting

– For God’s purposes to be shined forth.
– For the establishment of a ‘Kingdom beachhead’.
– For an evening of learning together.

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:14-17