Folks ask us from time to time…
What exactly is a spiritual director?
The term, spiritual director, is an ancient one, going back centuries in the history of the Church. Before the Reformation, over 500 years ago, only a priest could be a spiritual director, serving as a guide for those who desired to draw their lives closer to God.
Today, that definition continues, but fortunately, the role of a spiritual director has expanded so that many more individuals, both women and men, can join the ranks of those who simply come alongside others, serving as a spiritual companion to ones who desire to find more peace and presence in their busy, everyday lives.
As we see it, Jesus of Nazareth, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, has always been inviting people to step out of the busy traffic of everyday life, taking a deeper breath with God while making room for an increased awareness of both self and of the Divine.
Some call the ancient discipline of spiritual direction as “holding space for others.”
Watch this short video that offers a marvelous description of the work of spiritual companionship: holding space for others.
My wife, Sandy and I, first became aware of spiritual direction while we were in the midst of a very difficult season of our lives. As long-time pastors, our church in Cedar Rapids was going through an implosion and both of us felt “stuck” as we tried to resolve the many sticky issues surrounding the conflicts within our church body. Fortunately, our denomination offered us what was called a pastors sabbath retreat where Sandy & I were able to step away from the difficult issues going on within our church in order to spend ten days of re-newing, re-freshing, and re-framing ourselves. It was at that retreat where we were first introduced to the amazing hope found within Christ-centered spiritual direction.
This experience was so life-giving, we decided right there and then to sign up for a year of training in spiritual direction…a decision that has now totally transformed our lives. So in the fall of 2013, we began our trek, traveling up to Minneapolis for five weekends of training and equipping in the ancient disciplines of Christ-centered spiritual formation and spiritual direction.
As you can see from our website, we are now traveling around the USA, working for Sustainable Faith, the organization that first trained us, and quite honestly, we’ve never seen God working in so many lives as we have over the last several years.