Jump directly to the Content

Developing Your Discernment

How to read the people you lead.

The musicians of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra were once asked to name the most effective conductor. Arturo Toscanini won, hands down. When asked why, one of the instrumentalists said, "He could anticipate when you were about to make a mistake and keep you from making it."

He had discernment.

Discernment, like musical talent, is innate, but it's not like the gift of perfect pitch. The gift of discernment can be taught, practiced, and developed.

I have known many excellent leaders who were not given the gift of discernment. They could not read people. They read figures. They excelled in science, engineering, mathematics, and administration. They depended on management skills and organization.

Those blessed with even a little discernment, however, could develop significant sensitivity and intuition. I am one of those, having used discernment for many years both in manufacturing (overseeing 2,500 employees) and in ministry (chairing several national ministries).

If I ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Dangers of Consumer Church
Dangers of Consumer Church
Can self-centeredness be leveraged for the gospel?
From the Magazine
After the Boomers, New Leaders Bring New Life to the Vineyard
After the Boomers, New Leaders Bring New Life to the Vineyard
The next generation of charismatic pastors doesn’t want authority but collaboration—and communities ready to follow the Spirit.
Editor's Pick
What We Lose When We Livestream
What We Lose When We Livestream
Do our online viewers truly realize what they’re missing?