HOW DOES HELPING INDIVIDUALS DISCERN THEIR CHARISMS AFFECT THE LARGER CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY?
• The discernment process helps individuals cease to be anonymous to the leadership of the community and to each other. In our large Catholic parishes and institutions, it’s easy for individuals to come and go without being noticed and to believe that they have nothing to contribute. The personal interview is a most critical part of the discernment process because it gives individuals the opportunity to share their experience of being used by God with the leadership of the community. The small groups enable Catholics to talk to each other about something that is seldom named in our communities: how does God use us to bless others? • The discernment of their gifts draws people from the periphery of the community to the center. Some of our most gifted people are sitting, unrecognized, in the back of the church. Many lay Catholics emerge from the gifts discernment process with a much stronger sense that they have something important to give to the larger Christian community and the world.