What is spiritual direction?
“Spiritual direction is a journey towards more freely and deeply choosing to surrender to God.” –Dr. Gerald May, Care of Mind, Care of Spirit
“Simply put, spiritual direction is helping people tell their sacred stories everyday.” -Liz Budd
The ultimate goal of spiritual direction is to deepen your connection with God. This is attained primarily through the act of Christian listening. Listening occurs through prayer, times of silence, spiritual disciplines, and through sharing with your spiritual director about your relationship with God.
What is a spiritual director?
A director will have certification in spiritual direction which includes: deep knowledge of Christian faith and tradition, scripture, and theology, human and spiritual development, adhere to the Professional Ethics and Guidelines prescribed by Spiritual Directors International and participate in a Peer Supervision Group for Spiritual Directors
Recognizing that the Holy Spirit is the true director in this relationship, a spiritual director will pray, support, and encourage you as you listen and respond to God. Spiritual direction is not therapy. There may be therapeutic elements in direction sessions, but the purpose is to work together in discerning God’s presence and leading in your life.
Who participates in spiritual direction?
Groups or teams
Three to six individuals are guided in active listening for themselves and with each other. Though each is alone with God in the silence, together they are held in the Loving Presence and share responses and reflections.
What spiritual direction can do for you
- Help you pay attention to how God is moving in your life right now
- Help discern the will of God
- Observe attachments that keep us from being free to fully experience and express God in our lives
- Help move you toward creativity
- Discover God-given essence and false self patterns
- Help move you toward love
- Help move you toward interior freedom
About our time together
Individual sessions usually
- One hour in length
- Occur monthly
- Have a fee of $65-S80 (sliding fee based on ability to pay)
Group sessions usually
- Consist of three to six leaders, plus a trained spiritual director
- Occur monthly
- Have a fee of $25 per person per session
- Have a negotiated duration (Such as, from 1.5 to 2.0 hours for 9 to 12 months)
Note from Clare
Spiritual direction is sharing both the negatives and the positives in your spiritual journey. Honesty is essential in both your relationship with God and with your director. Spiritual direction has been practiced in the church for centuries. Today those who long to engage with God on a more intimate level and have someone to walk with him or her on this journey seek it. I feel specifically called to offer spiritual direction to Christian leaders. The danger for Christian leaders is that in your call to serve others on their spiritual journey, you can lose your own close connection to God. Spiritual Direction is an important discipline that can serve to help you pay attention to your own soul and your soul’s desire for an authentic relationship with God. Follow this link to learn more about Spiritual Direction from my dear teacher and friend Ruth Haley Barton.
Some topics for the first meeting
- Understanding of spiritual direction
- Purpose of the directee/director relationship
- Frequency, length, and format of meetings
- Prayer for participant/s between meetings
- Spiritual direction as a spiritual exercise, not an intellectual exercise
Rev. Clare Loughrige, is a church planter, pastor, and social activist. She is a formally trained Spiritual Director for leaders with The Transforming Center in Wheaton, IL and President of Crossroads Transforming Resources. Clare is the Author of two Enneagram Books and President of the International Enneagram Association (IEA) Great Lakes Chapter. She is under contract with IVP as co-author for an Enneagram book to be released in 2018. As a credentialed Professional and Teacher with the IEA she has developed a program that certifies Enneagram instructors in the Harmony Triads. Loughrige is also cited as a recommended Instructor with First Analysis Institute of Integrative Studies, Loyola University Chicago. In addition to Clare’s work with Spiritual Communities, she currently serves on boards for Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force and Sexual Assault Services Calhoun County Advisory Board.
Clare is a contemplative-activist Christ-follower with a conviction that all sustainable action in the world must emerge from a life that is centered and operates from interior freedom. Gratefully married 36 years, deeply blessed with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. As a ministry team and individually, Clare’s mission is to help people navigate the journey home. You can email her.
Spiritual Direction-Consulting-Training for Pastors and Christian Leaders