Holy Excavations

A Strategic Discernment Process

Purpose: A workshop for unearthing our hopes and dreams for God’s world

How do I know it’s time for my church to do this?

  • You realize that you can name what you do (your activities), but it’s harder to name the difference you are making in people’s lives or the world.
  • You realize most decisions in the church are made to solve problems or keep people happy rather than to respond to the continuing call of God.

What questions does this workshop seek to answer?

  • What is the biblical narrative our congregation is now living? 
  • How is the Bible shaping our decisions and actions?
  • What are the values which currently guide our ministry? 
  • What is the evidence that we’re living out of our values?
  • What is not an option for our congregation?
  • What is God’s dream for the community which we serve?

What happens in the workshop?

  • We begin with prayer and devotion.
  • We spend 2-3 hours in small group conversations around the guiding questions.
  • We gather as whole group to ask “What have we learned?
  • What has God been doing among us?”
  • We name positive steps forward based on what we’ve learned

Who should come?

  • Ideally, a group of 25-30 which includes laity and clergy
  • Those who are responsible for the  church’s mission, whether elected or not
  • Wisdom givers, folks who are ‘all in’, and those open to transformation.

How long does it last?

4-5 hours, depending on whether there is a meal

What does it cost?


Who do we call if we’re interested?

  • Your TMF Area Representative, or
  • John Thornburg, team leader for the Area Representatives (214-802-0788)

For a fuller description of the workshop, go to Holy Excavations Process.