Spiritual direction is an ancient ministry. Its focus is on God and one’s relationship with Him. It is a multi-faceted activity which includes recognizing and listening to Him in your daily life, discerning the meaning or purpose of your life, and envisioning the kind of person He wills you to be. In the context of a confidential relationship with a spiritual director who listens to your life story with an ear for the movement of the Holy Spirit within your soul, you reflect deeply and begin to recognize God’s presence and grace. You also start to experience a new dimension in your prayer life and awaken to the reality of why you were created in God’s image.
Unlike Therapy and Pastoral counseling Spiritual Direction does not concentrate on problems in life or the attempt to bring them to resolution. Unlike Coaching which focuses on overcoming obstacles to some action or actions you feel you need to take to get “unstuck” in your work or in moving forward with personal goals, Spiritual Direction emphasizes discovering God’s will by recognizing, listening and responding to Him in your daily life. It is about your personal relationship with Him. The term “direction” implies concentrating on the ways in which the Holy Spirit is working in your life.
Spiritual direction is about the journey of your soul which seeks to know God, self and others in a deep, loving way. It is about growing in understanding your relationship with God. Your soul thirsts to know God personally. Frequently, it takes another spiritual soul to walk with you so God can mirror through them what your soul needs to know.
The benefits of Spiritual Direction are:
- Growth in faith, hope love, and prayer.
- Help in discerning God’s will in all of life’s challenges.
- The realization of a greater meaning and purpose in your life.
- A deeper awareness of God’s presence, love, and grace in your life.
- A deeper connection to your true self, others, and creation.
- Learning new spiritual disciplines, prayer forms, meditation, etc.
- Discerning God’s will in decisions you face.
- Renewal or deepening of faith, hope, and your life’s purpose.
Spiritual direction helps develop the gift of discernment, which enables you to be more attentive to how God is leading and guiding you. You grow in noticing the ways in which God is touching your life, directly or indirectly.
Some people dislike the term “spiritual direction” because it sounds like one person giving directions, or orders, to another. They prefer “spiritual companionship,” or “tending the holy.” What you call it doesn’t make any real difference. The reality remains: it is conversation about your life in the light of faith
How Does Spiritual Direction Work?
It might help to explain how Spiritual Direction works. In a typical session you explore your spiritual journey in a confidential, non-judgmental, supportive environment, either one-to-one, as a couple or in a group. Sessions are generally one hour long and may be during the week day, in the evening, or on Saturday. Group sessions are usually two hours in length. Although I am based in Athens, GA spiritual direction is available to all, in person, by telephone, SKYPE, or e-mail. We usually meet once a month. Should the relationship continue for several years or for only a short period, you are always welcome, wherever you are spiritually.
A special word about distance spiritual direction – while there is no doubt that meeting in person is the preferred manner in which to render spiritual direction, often in rural areas and small towns there are no available spiritual directors. In large cities, traffic, travel time, and distances are real challenges for some people. Distance Spiritual Direction via telephone SKYPE, or Go-To-Meeting is the next best option. Often it is like being in the same room as your spiritual director. You can talk to the director from the comfort and privacy of your own home or office. There is no travel time and cost, no traffic or weather with which to contend.
What is the fee?
Because Spiritual Direction is a ministry rather than a business, I do not charge a set fee. However, I do suggest that a free offering or contribution is appropriate. Generally those who come to me for Spiritual Direction contribute in a range of $75.00 to $100.00 per session. The amount and method of the contribution will be determined after your first spiritual direction session, which is complementary.