Discerning Purpose with Susan Beaumont


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The second of five muscles the church needs to strengthen in order to be fit, agile, and ready for God’s now is Discerning Purpose. Susan Beaumont is well known for her groundbreaking work in organizational leadership dynamics. She is a consultant, coach, author, spiritual director, and an ordained minister within the American Baptist Churches. She has worked with hundreds of congregations and denominational bodies across the United States and in Canada.

In this conversation with Lisa Greenwood, Susan reflects on the difference between discernment and decision-making. She offers practical wisdom for how pastors can begin to help leaders shift towards a posture of discernment that will help clarify the congregation’s purpose. In the midst of this liminal season, Susan is an expert guide who models leadership rooted in spiritual practices that ultimately help connect the soul of the leader to the soul of the institution.


  • “I think that congregations are at their most vital when the soul of a leader is connecting with the soul of the institution and calling something forth.” -Susan Beaumont [13:32]
  • “We cannot manufacture or produce discernment. It’s a gift that is given.” -Susan Beaumont [32:27]


  • [00:01] Intro
  • [01:20] Meet Susan
  • [01:56] What stood out to Blair and Scott about this conversation
  • [09:19] How her book came to be and her commitment to it
  • [11:37] Tending the soul of an institution
  • [14:07] The act of discernment and why it’s important
  • [20:09] Methods and tools to shift into discernment mode
  • [30:49] Obstacles or resistances that a leader might face
  • [36:25] Outro


Susan Beaumont’s book that is referenced throughout the interview is How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going: Leading in a Liminal Season.

Find more information about Susan, including blogs and other resources, visit her website: https://susanbeaumont.com

Read more about the Five Muscles on our website and download a PowerPoint presentation to share with your leadership.

“God Has Work for Us To Do” music and lyrics by Mark Miller. Visit Mark’s website at markamillermusic.com or find him on YouTube at youtube.com/c/markismusic67.

This podcast is brought to you by the Leadership Ministry team at TMF and Wesleyan Investive. Leadership Ministry connects diverse, high capacity leaders in conversations and environments that create a network of courage, learning, and innovation in order to help the church lean into its God-appointed mission. For more information and to support Leadership Ministry, visit tmf-fdn.org/leadership-ministry.

39 episodes