Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction

 

Definition

Spiritual Direction is the process of being conformed to the image of Christ by the gracious work of God’s Spirit for the transformation of the world.

Spiritual Direction focuses on areas where growth is blocked, emotional wounds continue to hinder and wholeness is being sought. Utilizing Scripture and the tools of faith developed throughout the church’s history, those under Direction are provided real transformation through the healing presence and power of God.

Spiritual Direction helps people recognize and open themselves to what God is doing to make them more like Christ.  They are encouraged to see both their strengths and weaknesses in light of God’s ability to use all things (Romans 8:28).

The definition of Spiritual Direction is expanded and explained as follows:

1. Spiritual Direction is the process…:

  • It’s a gradual, life-long movement, not just a single, momentous conversion
  • Spiritual Direction authentically replaces a false desire for the “quick-fix, instant results” mentality commonly found in our culture.
  • It awakens us to God’s activity in our lives.
  • Reveals God’s love for us and invites our love for God and others

2. of being conformed to the image of Christ…:

  • Christ is the image of God made visible to us (Colossians 1:15).
  • The image of Christ is the pattern of human wholeness – we share God’s image (Genesis 1:26).
  • God’s likeness feels strange since we are misshapen by images of the culture but Spiritual Direction moves us from being centered in self to being centered in Christ
  • The image of Christ heals, renews, restores and empowers us for deep change.

3. by the gracious working of God’s spirit…:

  • We want to make things happen in our self-reliant culture.  However, we cannot change or conform ourselves to Christ by own will power.
  • We can open ourselves to the gracious working of God’s spirit.
  • The Spirit enables us to choose the way of Christ over self-interest.
  • Grace helps us give reins of control to God and to cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
  • Many resist the Spirit’s work because change in ideas, habits and behaviors is sometimes scary but spiritual disciplines (holy practices) are ways of opening ourselves to God’s love and power.

4. for the transformation of the world:

  • Being empowered and Christ-like means living in self-giving love
  • The spiritual life is not solely about “me” but also about the world God loves.  As we are healed, strengthened and conformed to Christ, we embody more of God’s love for others and receive a servant’s heart.
  • Some of the fruits of spiritual formation are compassion, patience, truthfulness, and reconciliation.
  • Transformed individuals are God’s agents for the transformation of the world.

The strength of this definition rests in its emphasis on a godly process.  We cannot simply take a class to be a disciple.  We cannot go on a weekend retreat and expect to be a mature follower of Jesus Christ.  Spiritual Direction is a reforming, re-engineering, realignment, and repositioning of the core values which shape our lives.  Wounds, lies, emotions and behaviors which inhibit this process of deep change are healed by the power of God with the support of the Director who has experienced this process personally.  Spiritual Direction empowers us to respond with openness to the loving call of God to be fully devoted followers of Jesus for the transformation of the world.

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What Can You Expect from Spiritual Direction with Dr. David Oliver

  1. The focus will be on your needs.  We will talk about what is most important to you.
  2. You can share anything without fear of rejection or judgment.  This is a priority.
  3. A primary skill you will learn is to see what God is doing to make you more like his Son, Jesus.
  4. You will be positioned before the Lord in safety to experience his healing and transformation.
  5. God is the cure giver; the Spiritual Director is the care giver.
  6. You will not be manipulated or coerced to do anything.
  7. Spiritual Direction allows you to take the initiative to become a more whole and empowered Christian with support.
  8. Spiritual Direction is about your freedom in Christ to take action and make changes based on our discussion.
  9. Spiritual Direction calls you to stretch to new horizons of growth.
  10. Any actions you take are solely your desire and intent.

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Benefits of Spiritual Direction

  • Live the life of faith as a shared journey not a solo journey.
  • Learn to partner with the Holy Spirit who desires to be your Comforter and Counselor.
  • Gain wisdom and grace to meet challenges with God’s help and skilled support.
  • Experience healing for inner wounds and power for deep change.
  • Discover that deep change is empowered by God.
  • Expand your awareness about what God is doing in your heart, life and world.
  • Grow significantly in faith, wholeness and holiness with the partnership of a Spiritual Director.
  • Understand your purpose in the world and what difference you can make.
  • Make a valuable contribution to the kingdom of God.

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The Values of Spiritual Direction

Our relationship will be characterized by the following values:

  •  Honesty — we will speak the truth in love.
  • Confidentiality — issues and concerns, within the bounds of the law, will not be shared outside this relationship without permission.
  • Authenticity — we will openly share as needed both personal and professional matters.
  • Punctuality — we will be prompt for all appointments and calls out of respect for each other.
  • Preparedness — we will seek to complete assignments and be prepared in advance of each appointment.

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Ways to Pay for Coaching/Spiritual Direction

Paying for coaching and spiritual direction services should be thought of as an investment in improving your skills and effectiveness.  Although not covered by most conventional insurance contracts, the following resources are commonly used by Christian leaders to fund this important investment:

  • Continuing Education Funds
  • Discretionary Funds
  • Contingency Funds
  • Support from Elder Boards
  • Grants for Professional Development
  • Denominational Scholarship Funds
  • Employee Assistance Plans
  • Scholarships specifically provided for your support by your organization
  • Persons with financial means have considered it a privilege to come alongside leaders to financially under gird their coaching and spiritual direction.

In the event a donor wishes to give the gift of Coaching or Spiritual Direction, arrangements can be made for this to be a tax deductible contribution.  If you are interested in this option, please ask for more information.

 

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