Spiritual direction, which is similar to yet different from a therapeutic relationship, can be understood in a variety of ways. Some see it as storytelling. While telling your story to a spiritual director, the director helps you link your story to the great redemptive story of God’s work in our world through the ages.
Others describe spiritual direction as a journey traveled by an explorer with a guide who knows the terrain: the journey of the pilgrim to the holy city; a spiritual pilgrimage, voyage, or odyssey; an adventure of learning to live a life marked by the love of God.
Eugene Peterson, author of 30+ books on Christian spirituality, believes that “spiritual direction takes place when two people agree to give their full attention to what God is doing in the life of the directee and seek to respond in faith.” According to Jeanette Bakke, a spiritual director, teacher, and author of Holy Invitations, spiritual direction “requires us to trust God, another person, and ourselves enough to speak honestly about our Divine/human relationship.”
However it is described and defined, the goal of spiritual direction is spiritual formation into the image of Christ. The spiritual direction ministry of Friendswood Friends Church exists to help our people find a voice for their story; to aide them on their journey of becoming more like Jesus; to listen with them as they hear from and respond to God; and to assist them as they open the hidden places in their lives to the light of Christ’s love.
Friendswood Friends has both skilled and certified spiritual directors among our membership, men and women who are willing to share their gifts with those who desire to receive their ministry. It has been said that there are no self-taught saints. Please contact Michael Alexander or David Bridges if you are interested in partnering with a spiritual director on your spiritual journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is spiritual direction for me? Spiritual direction is helpful for anyone interested in being formed and shaped to become more like Jesus. Spiritual giants through the ages have seen the value of receiving spiritual direction, as well as those new to the faith who are eager to learn to hear God’s voice and discern God’s work in their life.
How often would I meet with a spiritual director? Typically spiritual direction (SD) takes place once a month for about one hour. A fine place to meet is the Journey Room in the office wing on our church campus, but other arrangements can be made to fit the preferences of the director and those desiring direction. Generally a three month trial period is a good idea to see if the two parties involved in SD feel that they are a good fit for each other.
Is there an expense involved? Directors are available who work for free as part of the ministry of FFC, and other directors receive payment for their services.
I am already part of an accountability/discipleship group. How is SD different from what those types of groups have to offer? Discipleship groups are often geared towards learning certain information about God and discussing how that information should shape the faith and practice of the individual. Cognitive approaches such as this are an important part of spiritual development. Accountability groups offer both encouragement for positive Christian behavior and answerability for sinful or selfish behavior. The unique aspect of SD is that it is more reflective, more internal, and more hospitable in nature. Two goals of SD are to discern what God is already doing in the life of the one seeking SD, and to seek how he/she can cooperate with God so that even greater work can be done. Greater discernment, a richer prayer experience, growth in love and grace, and increased sensitivity to the work of the Holy Spirit are some of the fruits of time spent in SD.