FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
what is spiritual direction?
Spiritual Direction is a one-with-one relationship or a small group of 3-4 others in which you explore a closer relationship with God.
In the midst of a busy life, many people find it difficult to notice God's action in their daily affairs. Yet, at the deepest level, all of us long for a more conscious experience of God's presence and love. Spiritual direction creates the space for you to put words around your desire for God and how you may be noticing and becoming more deeply aware of God's presence.
who is spiritual direction for?
The unhurried process of spiritual direction meets us exactly where we are at in our journey.
If you are a "seasoned" Christian, a new believer or one that is questioning God's very existence, you are invited to be heard, understood and to grow in relationship with God.
Individuals who seek spiritual direction typically have a desire to reflect on their spiritual life and:
/ may hunger for rest, renewal and restoration.
/ may want to grow in their awareness of God.
/ may want to learn new ways to pray.
/ may want to discern God's leading in areas of life including vocation, relationships and purpose.
how is spiritual direction different than therapy or mentoring?
Spiritual direction is different from pastoral counseling, therapy, or a mentoring relationship in that the focus is on fostering relationship and intimacy with God vs. focused on a need or goal to achieve. The agenda is set by the Holy Spirit.
The director and directee are intentional about listening for and noticing the movements, nudging and invitations of the Holy Spirit. In the process the directee grows in experiential knowledge of God, which fosters an internal awareness and experienced reality to that which is perhaps only known in intellectual knowledge or from external sources. The directee is given space to consider and reflect on thought and emotional patterns and is encouraged to bring those into prayer and reflection. Referral for therapeutic resources may be presented alongside the spiritual direction process.
what is restoration ministries offering?
Providing space to discern, know and experience Christ's Holy Presence, we facilitate freedom, healing, wholeness and provide paths for spiritual growth, deeper communion with God, and love of neighbor.
Providing space to discern, know and experience Christ's Holy Presence, we facilitate freedom, healing, wholeness and provide paths for spiritual growth, deeper communion with God,
and love of neighbor by offering:
/ Spiritual Direction and soul care ministries
/ Healing prayer sessions
/ Resources for support and recovery at personal and/or family points of fracture
/ Scripture and spirituality groups
/ Retreats and retreat space where souls can find rest and renewal
/ Professional Development & Supervision for pastors, spiritual directors, soul care providers
/ Marketplace Initiatives to foster leading from within
/ Collaborative ministries with the Church, local and at-large
What is christian spirituality and spiritual formation?
Christian spirituality encompasses the entirety of the Christian life. A holistic approach to faith, it includes our beliefs and practices, as well as the way we live our everyday lives.
As believers, our friendships, our acts of kindness, and our inner thoughts and attitudes reflect our spiritual well-being and contribute to our formation as much as our spiritual disciplines, corporate worship and active evangelism. Christian spirituality isthe character of our actual, lived relationship with God through the Spirit of Christ, as describing our practice of relationship with Christ(Howard, 16).
A certain caution should be used, however, when employing the term spirituality, since it finds wide usage today, often carrying overtones of New Age thought, Eastern religion and/or nature worship. When assessing spirituality, we must see if what is being purported is genuine Christianity, rooted in Scripture and centered on Christ as fully God and fully man.
Christian Spiritual Formation
Often used synonymously with Christian spirituality, the term “spiritual formation” is valuable because it highlights the process of growth in the life of a believer. The life of faith was never meant to be static — conversion is the starting line, not the place to set up camp for the remainder of our time on earth! We indeed are on a pilgrimage.
John Bunyan’s famous work, Pilgrim’s Progress , is a classic devotional work on the process of spiritual growth. In his Confessions, Augustine of Hippo masterfully describes the inner journey he took from unbelief to faith in Christ, and then his growth in faith toward intimacy with God. The Spiritual Espousals by John Ruysbroeck (Ruusbroec) is a lesser known classic that systematically and insightfully depicts states of Christian growth. Perhaps the best recent discussion of the process of formation is M. Robert Mulholland, Invitation to a Journey.
God Initiates: We respond
God designed us to mature spiritually. We cannot cause our own growth or transform ourselves — no matter how hard we try — any more than we can save ourselves. Rather, the Lord is the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2), and the One who began a good work in us will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1: 6).
God works in us “to will and to do his good pleasure,” states Philippians 2:13. Nevertheless, as verse 12 asserts, we have a role to play: we must “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” While God is the one who forms us, w e must respond to the divine initiative . We have the responsibility of acting in obedience to the Lord’s commands.
The very terms “spiritual formation” and “spirituality” imply the role of God’s Spirit in our growth. While prayer and Scripture study, spiritual direction and the practice of various disciplines, may all be part of our journey, it is the Holy Spirit who works in our lives to convict of sin, to transform us and to bear fruit in our lives (Gal 5:22 - 23). Our role is to “live in accordance with the Spi rit” and allow ourselves to be “controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit” (Rom 8:1 - 17). We must “keep in step with the Spirit” — walking by the Holy Spirit, and being led by God’s Spirit (Gal 5:16 - 25).
Spiritual formation , then, is the study or the science of our responding to what the Lord is doing in our lives. It looks at the process of spiritual growth and what our role is in that process. Thatrole includes intentional rhythms of prayer, solitude, Scripture, worship and other spiritual disc iplines. It involves our response to trials and the unexpected circumstances of life. Our task entails the cultivation of godly friendships and self - sacrificial service to others.
The study of spiritual formation also looks at the various stages of growth along the journey. Because most believers progress through similar steps in their maturation process, it is valuable to explore the dynamics of those common experiences in our pilgrimage. While not trying to fit everyone into the same mold, the discipline of spiritual formation seeks to offer insights, encouragement and direction, especially during dark and dry times of life.