My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
An Invitation to Spiritual Direction
Pastors have a vital need to receive spiritual direction. As pastors look after the souls of members of their local church, who looks after the soul of the pastors?
Pastors need a space to express their questions, doubts, and work out their faith. We need guides for our relationship with God. The CBOQ provides opportunities for pastors and ministry leaders to experience spiritual direction in groups or as individuals. We recommend beginning with group spiritual direction.
Defining Spiritual Direction
Spiritual direction is a form of soul care that invites us to examine and give attention to the work of God in our lives. We may participate in SD as an individual with a spiritual director (or with a spiritual friend) or as a group to listen and hear the voice of Jesus.
Spiritual direction is “an act of giving attention to what God doing in the person who happens to be before me at any given moment.” (Eugene Peterson, Working the Angles).
Fryling defines spiritual direction as, “a way of companioning people as they seek to look closely, through the eyes of their hearts, at the guidance and transforming work of God in their lives.” (Alice Fryling. Seeking God Together)
Very Brief History of Spiritual Direction
Fryling states, “It’s a practice that began in the early years of Christianity when people followed the desert mothers and fathers out to the wilderness to ask them how to know God. Over the years, spiritual direction has appeared in many faith traditions. It was kept alive in the Christian faith mainly through the Roman Catholic Church, but today the Protestant church is rediscovering it. People throughout the Christian church, including those of an evangelical orientation, are experiencing again the gifts that God gives to his people through the loving listening and the gentle guidance of spiritual directors. This gift is usually offered in the context of individual spiritual direction, but the potential for spiritual direction in small groups is a growing and promising expression of the ministry of spiritual companionship.” (Fryling. Seeking God Together)
The Goal of Spiritual Direction (the Why?)
Spiritual Direction challenges us to move from simply talking about God to acknowledge and recognize our experience with Him and to increase our awareness of His active work in and around us. In general, Spiritual Direction is about our spiritual maturity. Spiritual direction is important because it challenges our deepest needs to share with others our Christian Spiritual Journey. It is a reminder that our (personal) faith is a shared faith, not a private, individual, or solitary matter.
Spiritual Direction Is NOT…
Spiritual Direction is not a Program. Spiritual direction helps people in their journey to follow Christ – it is not a set program or curriculum. Much of what is discussed is driven by the conversation or need of the individual and the prompting and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual Direction is not Advice. Spiritual directors are not intermediaries between you and God. Suggestions and ideas may be offered but it is never to be taken as prophetic, advice or commands. The directee is ultimately responsible to listen and obey the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual Direction is not counselling. Counselling tends to be problem driven and problem solving. Spiritual direction is Spirit centered. Personal problems may come to the surface, but the goal is not always to solve the problem but to see and experience the working of God. The goal is to grow in your relationship with God more than resolving one’s problems.
Spiritual Direction is not preaching or teaching. Spiritual direction is not about proclaiming, teaching, exhortation, homilies, expounding, or parsing the scriptures. The focus is on God, to discern and listen for the leading of the Holy Spirit. We are asking questions like these, “What is God saying you to you? What is God doing in your life right now?”
Group Spiritual Direction (GSD) is simply a group of people who gather to listen to the voice of Jesus in community. In GSD, pastors not only hear the voice of Jesus but experience genuine friendship.
CBOQ has developed GSD cohorts. You can begin with a commitment to a few sessions with the option to continue to meet throughout the year. Cohorts are led by spiritual directors and those who have been trained in spiritual formation.
Information Session : September 23, 1pm
Join for an opportunity to learn more about Group Spiritual Direction. Then you can begin with a commitment to a few sessions with the option to continue to meet throughout the year. Groups are led by spiritual directors and those who have been trained in spiritual formation.
Regular Sessions: 1:00 – 2:30pm
Oct 28 | Nov 25 | Dec 16 | Jan 27 | Feb 24 | Mar 24 | Apr 28 | May 26
We will meet monthly to spend time together and in small groups with a spiritual director.
A spiritual director meets with an individual to cultivate their relationship with God. The Holy Spirit is present to direct and guide you. You are not there to minister to the spiritual director. PSD provides a rare place for the pastor to be ministered to.
Generally, pastors would meet a spiritual director for the following reasons:
- To strengthen their relationship with God. (Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly)
- To discern the presence and will of God for their lives (especially during of time of transition).
CBOQ recommends the following resources to identify a spiritual director:
- Emmaus Society of Spiritual Directors or contact Sandy Broadus, ED Emmaus Formation Centre *
- Tyndale Association of Spiritual Directors (TASD)
* Emmaus offers a 15% discount to CBOQ accredited leaders for its spiritual formation programs and for those studying to become spiritual directors.
Alice Fryling. Seeking God Together: An Introduction to Group Spiritual Direction. A very goodAn incredibly good introduction to group spiritual direction.
Eugene Peterson. Working the Angles. This book connects pastoral ministry to spiritual direction. Peterson states that there are three pastoral acts that shape everything in ministry: praying, reading scripture, and giving spiritual direction.