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  • Writer's pictureRusty McKie

What Is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction can be defined as “help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.” (Source)

Spiritual direction grew into a more formalized helping ministry among the desert fathers and mothers around the 4th century (Source). However, we find this style of ministry throughout the Scriptures (Luke 24:13-35; Acts 8:26-40; 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8).

Yet the experience of direction is as varied as the directors themselves.

While not exhaustive, here's how I generally understand spiritual direction and what you can expect if you receive direction from me.

1. We Will Pay Attention together.

In most counseling or coaching, the focus is on identifying and overcoming your problems. This is helpful, but you can miss your most significant issue.

Your more pressing need is to connect with God in your struggles. Often this is easier said than done.

Spiritual direction helps directees learn to pay attention to what God is doing amidst their difficulties.

You may share the same issues in a direction session that you would with a counselor or coach; however, our goal will be to discern God's presence and activity (For example, rather than develop strategies to experience God's peace later, we will seek to experience His peace together during a session).

Practically, you can expect to reflect on what you're experiencing in your present moment with God.

2. We Will listen together.

I hold the firm conviction that God's Spirit is a better counselor, guide, comforter, challenger, coach, and director than I could ever dream of becoming (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7).

Spiritual direction is a slowed-down space from our hurried lives. We pause, breathe deep, and listen to the Spirit together.

The more we slow down, the more this listening-way invades the rest of our life.

Practically, you can expect to share moments of silence to listen to God. Don't worry if this sounds intimidating; I'm here to coach and pray with you.

3. We Will experience Jesus together.

Spiritual direction helps us identify obstacles to staying in close contact with Jesus and remove those barriers to experience God's love in Christ (Romans 5:1-5; Philippians 3:7-11).

St Augustine famously said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” (Source)

Practically, you can expect to practice enjoying Jesus together. And at times, I may suggest practices to help you grow in intimacy with Christ between our sessions.

Is Spiritual Direction right for you?

The best way to answer this question is with a free session to discern your needs and see how I can help.

In general, spiritual direction could be a good fit for you, if:

  • You desire contentment with Jesus despite your circumstances (Philippians 4:11-13).

  • You want discernment in big life decisions — like changing careers, moving, marriage, etc. (Philippians 1:9-11).

  • You long for a more intimate experience with Jesus (Psalm 27:4; 34:8).

  • You want to live into your true self in Christ (Ephesians 4:20-24).

If spiritual direction piques your interest, schedule your free first appointment now.


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