What Is Spiritual Direction?

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 spiritual direction is also challenging to define because 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.


Spiritual direction is similar to counseling. However, a key difference is that the focus of most counseling models is to identify and overcome one's problems.

Spiritual direction is more interested in helping directees learn to pay attention to what God is doing amidst their difficulties.

You may share the same issues in a direction meeting that you would with a counselor; 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, 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 where I can hear what you want and describe in more detail what I offer.


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, email your questions or schedule a free first session at rustymckie@gmail.com.

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