Tim Dickau – Learning to Discern the Voice of God as the People of God (2022)

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Those of us living in western culture have been shaped over time by patterns of consumerism and autonomy, technological mastery, and the perception that we are at the center of reality. This has led to a widespread illusion that God is absent and silent. Our forebears had a much better understanding of how to discern the voice of God and the guiding of the Spirit, particularly as communities of faith. Tim Dickau describes practices and rhythms that we can learn from the monastic tradition to help us hear and know the voice of God, and shares a number of stories of how the Grandview Church community used those corporate discernment practices to follow God into new ways to engage with the community around them. Tim's message gives hope to each of us who are part of a church, that a community can learn to hear God speak and respond in a way that helps everyone in the community move together.

Important: for the video version of this plenary session, please make sure to download it to a device that has at least 900 MB of free storage, on an internet connection that doesn't have strict data transfer restrictions.


Tim Dickau is the director of CityGate and an associate at the Center for Missional Leadership. He was the pastor of Grandview Church in Vancouver for 30 years. During that time, the church had gone from being ready to dissolve to becoming re-established as a force for good in its neighbourhood. The church found creative ways to bear witness to the good news of God’s reconciling and restoring love through community living, welcome of the poor and the stranger, economic development through social enterprises, a 28 unit community housing project, proliferation of the arts, prophetic witness and deepening practices of confession and repentance. One way of describing this transition is to say they have moved from “going to church to being the church…in and for the neighbourhood.”