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What is spiritual direction?

1. Spiritual direction is an interpersonal relationship in which we learn how to grow, live, and love in the spiritual life.

2. Spiritual direction involves a process through which one person helps another person understand what God is doing and saying.

3. Discernment is a crucial gift in the work of spiritual direction.

4. In spiritual direction there is absolutely no domination or control.

5. The spiritual director/mentor/pastor guides another in spiritual things through the spiritual world by spiritual means.

6. God has ordained that there be spiritual directors/mentors/pastors among his people. This is the structure of love in practice.

7. Supremely, spiritual directors/mentors/pastors are persons who have a sense of being "established" in God. Otherwise they are too dangerous to be allowed into the soul space of others.



Related Elsewhere:

This article accompanies an article by Richard Foster on "Spiritual Formation Agenda."

Richard Foster previously wrote on leadership, which accompanied an interview with Christianity Today. CT also interviewed Richard Foster and Dallas Willard on the difference between discipleship and spiritual formation.

Other articles on spiritual formation include:

The Blind Spot of the Spiritual Formation Movement | Let's not forget the spiritual discipline of choice for the masses. (September 24, 2008)
Back to Sunday School | The author of Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered says the church must reclaim its disciple-making infrastructure. (June 26, 2008)
Three Temptations of Spiritual Formation | "When seeking to be shaped by Christ, It is all too easy to veer from a fully Christian approach" (December 9, 2002)

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What Is Spiritual Direction?
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January 2009

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