Spiritual direction is one of the oldest ministries in the church yet unknown to many evangelicals. It’s an ancient and beautiful work. I’m glad to know more people are discovering the benefits of this type of soul care.
This Just For You is all about spiritual direction. It’s been a source of nurture for those who seek a deeper connection with God for centuries. Modern seekers need the same kind of nurturing and spiritual direction is one place to find it.
I talked about spiritual direction on The God and My Girlfriends Podcast recently. I discussed how I learned about it, how I came to be a spiritual director in training, and answered several questions submitted by listeners.
And for the first time publicly, I announced my new website called Spiritual Direction with Marie. If you want to know more, reach out to me on the contact form on my website. I’d love to hear from you! You can also schedule a session and learn more about what else I offer on the site.
A Growing Ministry
The Center for Women in Ministry at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School hosted a lunch and learn workshop called Spiritual Direction as Storytelling recently. Beeson School of Divinity is an interdenominational evangelical school located in Birmingham, Alabama. Coordinator of Samford’s Pre-Ministerial Scholars Program and spiritual director, Noel Forlini Burt, talks about spiritual direction in a unique and engaging way. Several of those in attendance had no prior knowledge of spiritual direction and Noel explained it in a beautiful way. She also answered questions at the end of the workshop. She alluded to one of the reasons why I am compelled to take up this work: many who won’t seek the counsel of a pastor or who don’t feel welcome within the walls of a church may be comfortable meeting with a spiritual director. I personally know people who are doing exactly that.
I encourage you to watch or listen to learn more about the growing ministry of spiritual direction.
The Sacred Call
When we talk about the essential work and call to know ourselves, some Christians recoil. David Benner writes in his book The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self Discovery, “To suggest that knowing God plays an important role in Christian spirituality will not surprise anyone. To suggest knowing self plays an equally important role will set off warning bells for many people.” Although the earliest theologians in the church “held this position since the earliest days of the church…it has been largely forgotten by the contemporary church. We have focused on knowing God and tended to ignore knowing ourselves. The consequences have often been grievous…”
I describe spiritual direction as soul care for those embarking on the journey of knowing God and themselves better. My role as a spiritual director is a companion on the journey to awareness and wholeness. I offer Benner’s book quoted above as a resource because it addresses the warning bells some Christians hear when we talk about knowing ourselves. He uses Scripture to show us the foundational significance of a transformational knowing of God and ourselves.
Benner tells the story of Peter’s transformational knowing by highlighting familiar passages in a new way, and reminds us of the truth of who we really are. He writes:
Some Christians base their identity on being a sinner. I think they have it wrong – or only half right. You are not simply a sinner; you are a deeply loved sinner. And there is all the difference in the world between the two.David Benner
The difference in the two makes all the difference in how we not only view God, ourselves, and others – but in how we experience God, ourselves, and others. A transformational knowing of God and ourselves changes everything.
There’s something here just for you. Listen, watch, and read to learn more about spiritual direction. Visit my website to learn about the ways I am helping others know God and themselves better.