“Until recently most Protestants have been unfamiliar with the concept of spiritual direction. Those who have heard of it often react based on serious misunderstandings. Spiritual direction, the jewel in the crown of soul-care relationships, has been an important part of formal relationships of Christian nurture since the earliest days of the church. Rather than being for a specialized few, it is highly relevant to every Christian who takes the spiritual journey seriously. Rather than being a relationship of authority, it is a form of spiritual friendship. And although it shares some features with counseling and other relationships of care, it is distinct from all of them–serving more as an alternative to Christian counseling than a component of it.”
(From Sacred Companions by David G. Benner, p87 and 88.)
Through out my life time I’ve had a number of wonderful people help me on my spiritual journey. But until recently I have never had a spiritual director. As a pastor I have always struggled to find a way to balance church growth/health and spiritual growth in my ministry. Three years ago I applied to take a 2 year certificate course in spiritual formation and spiritual direction. One of the requirements of the program was to be in spiritual direction. So I found a spiritual director and began to meet with him on a monthly basis. Our conversations have focused on my prayer life. I deeply value these meetings, as they are the one place I feel completely free to be myself. I also appreciate the fact that I have no obligation to minister to my spiritual director. This relationship is for me.