Spiritual Director/Guide

“Beyond conversion, soul care is required...

—Bruce Demarest

DEFINITION:

In this very special relationship a more mature believer will have the opportunity to explore with another believer what God may be doing in his or her life. The Spiritual Director/Guide will listen to God with one ear and with the other ear to the believer. The end result of this interaction is a more intentional obedience to God in relationship to Jesus Christ.

EXPECTATIONS:

  • The spiritual guide develops a relationship that accentuates intentionality.  This intentional one on one relationship promotes an intimacy with God through prayer and conversations.
  • Directing/guiding do not have hierarchical meanings, they suggest a progression toward a more Christ like image.

OUTCOMES:

  • A greater awareness of being that eventually promotes a more focused doing.
  • The awareness and development of a non-anxious presence, the result of a diminished duplicity.
  • Acutely developed sense of “eyes to see and ears to hear” what God is doing?

BIBLICAL EXAMPLES:

  • Proverbs 31 woman
  • Titus 2 man and woman

OTHER EXAMPLES:

John Wesley

“Wesley did not use spiritual direction fearing it put too much power in the hands of the Spiritual Director. The spiritual guidance he taught was called “Christian Conference” in which people experienced mutual spiritual guidance in classes, bands, societies, families and “twin soul” and faith mentoring pairs. …Wesley’s work as a spiritual director is best seen in his correspondence. It is in the letters that we see his theology applied to life and the type of spiritual guidance he practiced. Wesley believed that all Christians need the support of spiritual friendship and guidance.”

C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis served as a spiritual guide in three areas: the concern for the spiritual needs of students, preaching in churches, colleges and on the BBC during WWII; he penned extensive correspondence with acquaintances and strangers. He helped countless men and women and young people who were seeking spiritual support.

Margaret Guenther

“The purpose of spiritual direction is to help people discover how to define themselves in relation not only to the world but also to God. Spiritual direction is not psychotherapy nor is it an inexpensive substitute although the disciplines are compatible and frequently share raw material. Spiritual direction is not pastoral counseling, nor is it to be confused with the mutuality of deep friendships, for it is unashamedly hierarchical, not because the direction is somehow “better” or “holier” than the directee, but because in this covenanted relationship the director has agreed to put himself aside so that his total attention can be focused in the other chair…the gift of disinterested, loving attention."

Bruce Demarest

“Beyond conversion, soul care is required. Just as a plant requires regular watering and feeding, so faith must be continually nourished to flourish. If we’re not advancing in grace through spiritual discipline, we are regressing into spiritual complacency. In such a condition, God becomes unreal in our experience and we become frustrated and unfulfilled. This is where spiritual direction comes in. Deep down inside, people hunger for a spiritual friend who will come close and not run away when the going gets dark and tough; for a wise counselor who will confront their harmful, misguided choices; for a strong and faithful soul companion who will help distinguish the voice of God from the voices arising from their own confusion—or from diabolical powers.”

 

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