What is Spiritual Direction? What Can I Expect?
Spiritual direction is a soul care relationship in which a follower of Jesus Christ (director) helps care for the soul of another follower (directee). The primary purpose of the relationship is to examine, strengthen and make more intimate the directee’s relationship with God. This is achieved through the practice of holy listening- helping the client to increasingly discern the movements of God in his/her daily life.
The director and directee meet together in the presence of God, with the session being led by the Holy Spirit of God. During this companion relationship, the director encourages and emboldens, invites and inquires rather than prescribes or gives direct advice. It is a time for the directee to be fully heard and supported as they seek to know and to love God more.
The primary goal of spiritual direction is growth
Growth in surrender; growth in awareness; growth in trust; growth in one’s sense of belovedness; growth in love for the Lord; growth in Christ-likeness and growth in overall spiritual maturity and intimacy with Christ. In this process, we seek to bring who we really are and where we really are into the light of God’s love and mercy and to grow up into the fullness of life and freedom Christ longs for us to know.
Spiritual direction is not discipleship or direct instruction
Nor is it counseling or therapy. Although the physical environment may feel similar to a counseling session, the goal is not to solve any particular problems. The goal is to grow closer to the Lord.
Joining with another into the sacred places of the soul, trusting another with one’s heart, one’s secret longings, one’s intimate struggles and spiritual victories- this is holy ground handled with great care and professionalism by the spiritual director. Confidentiality and safety are ensured throughout the process. Sessions typically occur monthly and last one hour.
As Christians, we are all on a journey; a journey meant to be lived out in authentic, accountable community. Spiritual direction is just one tool, but an important time-tested tool, in support of this journey.