Spiritual Direction and your Leadership Team

leading a group

One of the greatest gifts a spiritual director brings to any leadership team, council, session or board is the gift of non-attached observation. When you participate in working groups such as these it is easy to get bogged down in the work, making it difficult to step “onto the balcony” and see what is really [Read More...]

What a Spiritual Direction Session Looks Like

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Two people sitting in a quiet, private space perhaps with a lighted candle on a table nearby, discussing whatever life experience the directee shares.  That’s spiritual direction. At the first visit, the two of you will likely spend some time getting to know one another.  After the initial “meet and greet,” the spiritual director will [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

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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

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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

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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...]

Basic Principles to Help You Discern

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You could fill a library with books written about spiritual discernment. Here’s a distillation of what some of the better ones have to say. I have noticed about 12 key principles always mentioned in writings about discernment.  They come from the Christian traditions of St. Ignatius (Catholic) and the Society of Friends (Quakers). When at [Read More...]

Discernment as a Way of Life

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Out of our awareness of God and our trust in God grows the practice of discernment.  Discernment asks the question, “What is God’s presence inviting me to be or do in this situation?” Whenever we come to an important choice in life—what work to pursue, who to be in relationship with, how to spend our [Read More...]