You say you offer direction from the Christian Contemplative Tradition. What do you mean?
By Christian, I mean that we encounter God most fully in the person of Jesus. In Jesus, we find life. Because the Bible is history’s source for almost all information about Jesus, we faithfully attend to biblical accounts of his life. We desire to become like Jesus, not to become spiritually enlightened in the nebulous way people speak of spirituality today. This transformation is worked in us, and with our cooperation, by the Holy Spirit.
By contemplative, I refer to the streams of Christian traditions that focus on practices of prayer, meditation, Sabbath rest, silence and solitude. Practitioners of the contemplative believed – and still believe – that our formation in Christ-likeness requires self-reflection. We need to know what’s going on inside us, something hard to do in the busyness of life. Therefore, the contemplative tradition advocates a rhythm of life that honors the slower practices of retreat and reflection.
What is the difference between spiritual direction and other ministries?
All helping relationships are vital, valuable and meant to serve people at different stages of their lives. God desires shalom – wholeness and peace – for each of his children, and all helping relationships play a part in that. Let me give you a scenario: A couple is experiencing marriage problems. A counselor would help them address the specific problem areas and give them tools to fix the problem. A pastor might take them through a bible study on marriage. A mentor or coach would most likely come alongside them to hold them accountable to their marriage goals, and to keep them moving forward with newer goals. In spiritual direction, we ask, “What is God doing in you now and in what ways are you cooperating with and resisting God’s work?” Spiritual directors facilitate the person’s ability to hear from God. So, in direction the focus is very much on the ways God is using the marriage to transform the person from the inside out.
How often do we meet?
Sessions typically take place once a month and last an hour. We can meet face-to-face or through an online platform (such as skype, zoom, google hang-out, facetime, facebook video chat).
What can I expect from our time together?
We will focus on your relationship with God as it is reflected in all aspects of your life. Together we will discern God’s presence and activity in your life and we will notice the ways you are responding to God. Together we will “dust for the fingerprints of God.” I will ask questions and make observations that hopefully will help you process and reflect on your experiences. Sometimes I may give practical suggestions or a teaching on an area in your life you want to grow in, such as prayer, or journaling, or finding a sustainable rhythm of life.
What can I expect from you?
I will make a commitment to pray for you. I will keep confidential all you share with me. I will guard the most important relationship in our time together: the one between you and God. God is the true director of our time. I want to give you ample time to listen to God’s voice and to your own voice. Offering you a safe space in which you can go as slowly as you want is my desire.
What is expected of me?
We assume you have a desire to grow in your spiritual life, and that you are willing to accept the responsibility for growth. This means that you will pay attention to what God is doing in your life. That you share your story openly and honestly. That you pursue your desires for your relationship with God in an intentional manner.
Is there a cost?
As an Affiliate of Sustainable Faith, I ask for donations based on a sliding scale of $45 – $75 per session. Some of your donation goes into my own upgrading as a spiritual director. No donation is required for our first time meeting when we will discern if this is something you want. If we continue to meet, we usually evaluate its fruitfulness after about six months.