What is Spiritual Direction?
Christian spiritual direction is a contemplative, holy listening ministry. As a trained spiritual director, I am honored to serve as a trusted companion on your spiritual journey. I pledge to assist you to reflect on God’s presence and to notice the Holy Spirit’s movement in your life, especially in the ordinary things. Spiritual direction is not about my directing you in an active sense, but about you finding your spiritual direction toward God and discerning how best to respond to His invitations to a more fulfilling Christian life.
What is the Purpose of a Christian life?
God's greatest desire is for us to accept His love and to live our lives in loving relationship with the Holy Trinity, with each other, our faith communities, and the world. A Christian life also is a spiritual journey to God (theosis), during which He invites us into a conversation with Him, to become like Jesus Christ, to be reconciled with Father and our souls healed, and with the help of the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel, minister to others, and work to redeem His creation.
What is the Spiritual Director's Role?
My role as a spiritual director is to help you talk with God and gain a greater awareness of Him, in your life, the lives of others, and in the world. I also can assist you find meaning and purpose for your life by helping you discern God's purpose for you and how best to fulfill this purpose through a deeper relationship with Him. Through daily prayer, listening with the ear of their hearts, and prayerful reflections offered during spiritual direction sessions, I will support you in your spiritual journey and your engagement with the empowering and transforming work of the Holy Trinity, both in your life and in the lives of others.
What Happens in a Spiritual Direction Session?
In a word: PRAYER. Prayer infuses spiritual direction sessions, as prayer is the primary way we engage with God and He with us. Sessions usually last about an hour and occur about once a month; sometimes more frequently, sometimes less. How they are structured depends on your interests and needs. Often, we will start with a prayer (either aloud or silent). Then, I will invite you to share how God has engaged with you or not since our last session, or I may ask how you would like to use this time. No topic is off limits as God is in everything and everyone.
Spiritual direction is not counseling, therapy, coaching, or confession. I will not tell you what to do, help you solve problems, develop coping skills, hold you accountable, or absolve you of your sins. I will not judge you or anyone. Rather, by deeply listening, praying for you and for guidance, and by offering prayerful reflections, I will help you to become more aware of God's presence and movement in your life, what may be drawing you closer to or away from God, and what may or may not be beneficial for your spiritual growth. Our sessions will end as they begin, with prayer.
How Do You Get Started in Spiritual Direction?
To get started, you need a desire to engage with God through prayer, contemplation, and honest sharing. Doubts, questions, and concerns are welcome and encouraged. If spiritual direction is something you would like to explore, or if you have been in spiritual direction and are looking for a spiritual director, please call BJ Spanos at 404.771.9335 to set up a let's get acquainted session.
In person or long distance options available, such as Skype or FaceTime. First sessions are free of charge. If we decide to continue, I will invite you to offer a voluntary donation to Ekteleo Ministry. Suggested range is $40 to $70 per session. Please do not let money deter you. While financial support is welcome, it is not mandatory.
How Long Do People Continue with Spiritual Direction?
There is no set time. Some people view spiritual direction as a life-long spiritual discipline. Others enter into spiritual direction for a specific purpose, such seeking guidance in the midst of a life transition, a crisis of faith, or a difficult question. Others are searching for purpose, meaning, a richer inner life, a deeper relationship with God, or all four. As each of our spiritual journeys are unique, so are our reasons for being in spiritual direction and the length of time we stay.