Discernment as a Visioning Tool

Many churches and faith based organizations do good work in the present but have difficulty catching a vision for the next chapter in life, be that the next three months or the next three years. Change takes them by surprise, the congregation or group’s anxiety ratchets up, and fear about the future begins to drive decision-making. [Read More…]

Spiritual Direction for the Deeply Troubled

An elderly minister I visit regularly in my job as visitation pastor for my church told me today that “spiritual direction will be greatly needed in the days ahead.” He was one of many people I know deeply troubled by the reports of hate crimes and hate speech directed at people of color, the LGBTQ [Read More…]

Spiritual Direction and Election Anxiety

For highly sensitive people like me, news in the fall of a presidential election year feels like a sharp and constant hammer to the head. The harsh rhetoric, the reality of the deep division between those on the left and those on the right, the way every single emotion-evoking event is turned into a partisan [Read More…]

5 Ways Spiritual Direction Promotes Freedom

  Spiritual direction takes freedom very seriously. We want to feel free to be the person we were created to be–with as few internal fetters as possible, barriers such as negative self-talk, low self-esteem or dependencies. A spiritual director is trained to notice where you may not be as free as you want or need [Read More…]

Spiritual Direction and your Leadership Team

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

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

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

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…]