One-on-One Spiritual Direction

When you are in need of a safe place to share your spiritual questions and experiences, individual spiritual direction is a good place to start. The one-on-one approach allows for deep, confidential and slow-paced sharing. Typical one-on-one spiritual direction involves a 50-60 minute session between a spiritual director and you, the directee. The director is [Read More...]

Spiritual Direction vs. Spiritual Friend

my spiritual friends

It’s great to have a friend you can talk to about your spiritual life. But that’s not the same as having a spiritual director. You may be wondering why anyone who has a good spiritual friend would want or need a spiritual director. As a person who has had both–spiritual friends and directors (over the [Read More...]

Spiritual Direction vs. Counseling

There are very real differences between spiritual direction and counseling (also known as therapy). You may be wondering which one is best for you in your current life situation. One thing we learn in spiritual direction training is that spiritual direction can be therapeutic but that doesn’t mean it is therapy! Just like therapy can be [Read More...]

Appreciating Spiritual Experiences

hands

A common misconception is that spiritual direction is mostly about people’s discomfort or problems. In fact, much of what spiritual directors do is help you savor, appreciate and explore wonderful places in your life–places where you feel deeply connected to the source of all life. This is an important practice because as the world seems [Read More...]

Wrestling with Tough Spiritual Issues

blocks in director (2)

Spiritual exploration is not for the fainthearted. If all you want from your spiritual journey is success and ease, then forget spiritual direction. In most all spiritual traditions—and especially Christianity—it can be a painful process to “see the light.” One Quaker notion is that even while we desire the light of Christ in our heart, [Read More...]

Pop Quiz: Tony Jones Asks Progressive Christians to Talk about God

I’ll throw down with Tony Jones any day and talk about God. Gladly. In fact, that’s what spiritual directors do all the time. It’s our job to draw people’s attention to how they are experiencing God (although they or we might use a thousand different names for the creator). And while I don’t offer my [Read More...]

Assessing Spiritual Growth

Pencil with "Y" Circled For Yes

What does spiritual direction actually do for a person? How can we assess whether this practice is contributing to our spiritual growth? It takes time and the power of observation, but those questions can be answered rather concretely. The longer you see a spiritual director who gets to know you quite well, the easier it [Read More...]

Simple Questions to Help you Discern

paths

Discernment doesn’t have to be some heavy, serious, complicated process.  Just this week I was reading a denominational booklet designed to help churches discern their growth strategy, and it was exhausting to read all the intricate instructions. It even suggested that groups spend time discerning whether or not to use that particular discernment model. You [Read More...]

Discernment, Wesley-style

wesley quadrilateral

Sometimes you just need a simple, practical way to explore your choices.  For that, we turn to our Methodist friends.  18th century preacher and theologian John Wesley—founder of Methodism—believed we needed to take four factors into consideration when navigating choices in the Christian life:  scripture, tradition, reason and experience. I like the visual nature of [Read More...]

Discernment-in-Community, Quaker-style

If you don’t know enough about Quakers to stand in utter awe of their understanding of discernment, it’s time you learned. For centuries, The Society of Friends—popularly called Quakers—has been promoting discernment-in-community both for individuals and groups (especially their business meetings). Say a young Quaker couple wants to get married. They are advised to be [Read More...]