Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction


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Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction

That is not who we are nor is it what we do. Our spiritual directors are trained listeners who will accompany you as you share about your spiritual journey in Christ. Hospitable, strictly confidential and grounded in Biblical truth; Spiritual Direction is a soul care ministry that helps you grow in prayer and live in your calling as a follower of Christ.

During your meetings, your Spiritual Director will help guide the dialogue through attentive listening and thoughtful questions. While Spiritual Direction may include some level of pastoral care and counseling, it is focused on finding and responding to God even if in the midst of a storm, pain, disorder or some type of challenge. Spiritual Direction predates modern Christian counseling and life coaching but shares key principles and insights for spiritual formation and mentorship. The main purpose of Christian counseling is healing and restoration by addressing mental health, relational and emotional issues.

Christian life coaching focuses on setting goals, creating results and managing personal change. Spiritual Direction, on the other hand, is a mentoring relationship that focuses on spiritual formation and helping the directee find their own spiritual path to a deeper relationship with God. It focuses on growth and wholeness rather than on healing, solving problems and managing personal change.

Actually, this practice dates back to the early Church. Soul Care Ministries International, Inc. Please bear in mind that spiritual direction services are not appropriate for every person as it is not Christian counseling or life coaching and does not replace your local church ministry. Should you feel that counseling or life coaching is more suited to your needs, please learn more about those services at this link.

There does not need to be a particular problem or crisis. We will also help you develop a spiritual path by working with you on prayer, meditation and study. Our founder, Dr. Linda King, has been divinely inspired to add this most important aspect of ministry to our outreach ministry services. With a passion for and call to soul care ministry, Dr. This, in essence, sums up the importance of spiritual direction. There are many great reasons for seeking the companionship and friendship of a spiritual director, learn more here.

First and foremost, during spiritual direction there will be an explicit and consistent attention to the presence of God. Typically, individual spiritual direction involves meeting one-on-one generally once a month for about an hour or so. After an initial appointment to get acquainted and determine if this ministry service is right for you, it is helpful to set up three meetings and then evaluate how things are going.

Following that, periodic evaluations are encouraged. During your first or second meeting, your spiritual director may request that you complete an enrollment form as well as a free Spiritual Health Assessment. Most striking was her discussion of "transition", a time just before birth where the birthgiver may totally lose a sense of control and how the midwife can give good direction and support at this time to lean into the hard work of giving birth to spiritual insight and growth. The final chapter explores the direction of women as well as what it means for women to act as directors.

Two critical elements here were helping women find their voice and not simply default to submission, and to face the sin of self-contempt, which Guenther especially sees in women. She concludes with an exploration of directing those who have faced abuse. This is a slim and yet rich book that is probably one of the best treatments of spiritual direction I've read, especially valuable for its lack of pretension and refreshing "down to earthness". View all 3 comments. Sep 05, Amanda rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction , christian-thought.

I'm not sure why I ended up reading this book. I mean I know why I picked it up. I wanted to learn about discerning the Holy Spirit's direction in my life, but it turns out this book was about being a spiritual director.

Listening for the Soul by Jean Stairs

I kept reading thinking I would still find helpful information. It was a good reminder of ultimately what we are searching for is God. Guenther's writing style is very readable. She brings warmth and humanity to a challenging topic. Her writing is honest and direct, encouraging and sensitive. Dec 09, Steve Watson rated it liked it. For me, that mainly was about the style of the book — language, tone, sentence structure… stuff that shaped a less riveting experience as a reader.

That said, there was lots I found really helpful.

Pastoral Thinking

When I hear men talk about birthing this or that creative project, like their book or film or business or church was this baby they birthed, I want to throw up in my mouth a little. And it sounds self-centered to me, I supposed, and de-sanctifies the costly and beautiful and painful experience of pregnancy and labor and birth.

And yet… Elie Wiesel once said that was one of his favorite phrases, or most powerful phrases, I forget which. And yet, my spiritual director talks about being stirred, and that being a sign of the Spirit at work birthing something. But to exactly what end, well, we must wait and see and discern. And we are given choice to shape that process as well. In the work of the soul, we co-create with God, as the Spirit of Jesus stirs. I love that she is not driving at the right way to experience God, but affirming that each of these three are ways people have experienced God.

And in fact, she provides scriptural support from the Psalms and prophets for each of these experiences. This was inestimably rich for me. Perhaps this is because given my temperament, gifts, and experience in education, this is a model I can imagine returning to and embracing myself as a spiritual director.

What struck me most was the good teacher as hopeful.


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In education, this is often framed in terms of expectations. High expectations, well supported, tend toward high growth. Whereas low support, low craft, or often, low expectations, even unconsciously low ones, tend to diminish the possibility of growth. To expect is after all, to hope. Sep 11, Tamara Murphy rated it really liked it Shelves: selah-spiritual-direction , The director is willing to listen and to be present to the directee where he is. By the very nature of the relationship, the director has been given tacit permission to ask questions.

This is in contrast to polite conversation, which forbids asking anything that really matters. But they must be the right questions, asked in a spirit of attentive love. It is easier for directors who are ordained or are members of a religious order: a clerical collar or a religious habit makes a statement of authority.

While academic courses or an impressive certificate cannot form a director when the innate gift is not there, seminary study, programs of certification, or a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education can set a woman director free to acknowledge and claim her authority. This is not to minimize the importance of formal study or supervised work, but the chief value of training is to legitimize this ministry in a time obsessed with credentials. If I am now perceived as a motherly person, I would prefer to be seen as a desert amma rather than a Hallmark mommy.

Most important, for good or ill, I know that my own experience in mother colors the way in which I do spiritual direction. And lest it sound as if I am excluding a large segment of the population, Meister Eckhart reminds us that we can all be mothers. While the experience of bearing nurturing a child is unique, maternal ways of being are available to all of us, men and women.

May 19, Brian Wilcox rated it it was amazing. Exceptional treatment of spiritual guidance as spiritual midwifery. The author parallels stages of the work of midwife in the birthing process to companioning persons in spiritual transformation. She explores how to balance silent, passive receptivity with offering verbal guidance. Both directee and director are seen as sharing in communion with unseen Presence and the subtle unfolding of the workings of Grace.

This approach contrasts with the results-oriented approach of most counseling and muc Exceptional treatment of spiritual guidance as spiritual midwifery. This approach contrasts with the results-oriented approach of most counseling and much conventional religion, reminding us the way of spiritual Wisdom is countercultural and challenging to the addictive busyness and aggressive drivenness of many cultures.

reflections on spiritual direction or soul care

In this sense, the book is helpful in providing insight as to contemplative spirituality in general. Jul 28, Megan rated it really liked it Shelves: spiritual-direction. Spiritual Direction was something brought up in the Episcopal church. Recently I have been jealous of the sacramental practices in the Catholic church even though I am not Catholic.

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Handbooks of Christian Spirituality

I am glad this practice is now being introduced in the Evangelical church. Spiritual Directors should be like a teacher, host, and midwife. These topics go in-depth in this book. This book is written mainly intended f Spiritual Direction was something brought up in the Episcopal church. This book is written mainly intended for Spiritual Directors. However, directees will benefit from it as well. I can't wait until I find a Spiritual Director compatible with me.

It's about the mystery of moving through time. It's about mortality. It's about love.

Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction

It's about things that can't be fixed. Aug 26, Kimberly rated it it was amazing. Excellent book on spiritual direction. Loved the chapter on spiritual director as "midwife". The analogy was great and was quite helpful in explaining how we do 'with' the directee as opposed to 'to' the directee.

Jul 07, Debra rated it liked it.

Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction
Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction
Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction
Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction
Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction
Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction
Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction

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