Soul Friendship and Mentorship

Hello everyone, welcome to the 2nd Look!

On Sunday I talked about the importance of having deep soul friendships. I mentioned a Soul Friend is “someone who supports, collaborates with, encourages, pushes, and builds you up to be the best you that God made you to be.”

 

I want to share with you about a different kind of soul friendship. I call it “Spiritual Mentorship,” “Spiritual Coaching,” or “Spiritual Direction.” This kind of soul friendship can be very encouraging and powerful! I actually see a Christian Spiritual Director once a month.

 

Christianity Today published an article in 2003 describing Spiritual Direction in this way:

 

What is spiritual direction?

 

Spiritual direction is a voluntary relationship between a person who seeks to grow in the Christian life and a director. The latter is not, notice, a counselor or therapist. Rather, he or she is a mature Christian who helps the directee both to discern what the Holy Spirit is doing and saying and to act on that discernment, drawing nearer to God in Christ.

The focus is on intimacy with God, not on the solving of clinically identified psychological problems. The whole sinful orientation of the self, not any particular dysfunction, is the “problem” to be addressed. The director helps directees identify ways they have sought satisfaction and fulfillment from sources other than God, in the process pushing God aside. Directees are led to hear the Holy Spirit (the “real spiritual director”) calling them back onto the right path. The director’s role is one of coming alongside, rather than dictating a program. The relationship thus shares some features with the Celtic ideal of a “soul friend” or “anamchara.” However, its nurture usually flows only one way.

Being a good spiritual director requires not a doctorate but mature theological knowledge, a degree of holiness, and a knack for discernment.

 

I see both a therapist and a spiritual director and I can honestly say there is some overlap between the two but spiritual direction is really focused more on what God is doing in my life and learning to hear Him better. It has been hugely beneficial for me. Spiritual direction is not usually free. Sorry, but when you think of investing in your spiritual journey with God, and that this journey is in actuality more important than anything else, perhaps spending $40-$60 an hour isn’t that bad. If you are interested in spiritual direction here’s a link for you:

 

https://www.graftedlife.org/spiritual-direction/find-a-spiritual-director

 

Thanks everyone and may God bless you this week!

Pastor Ryan