Spiritual direction is a key discipline for Christian leaders because the dynamics of the ministry world are complicated and, at times, lonely.
Spiritual Direction is also a clarifying and transformative discipline for spiritual growth for all believers as we navigate the spiritual journey. As a result, the importance of having a “soul friend” to process our inner life is very important.
My background is in the church and academia, where I have served in a variety of roles for 35 years. My personal spiritual perspective is what I would call contemplative evangelical, and I tend to embrace expressions of Classic Christianity and am firmly orthodox.
My view of spiritual direction can be summarized by William Barry and William Connolly in their book, The Practice of Spiritual Direction:
We define Christian spiritual direction, then, as help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.
Additionally, in his book, Guided by the Spirit, Frank J. Houdek states:
Spiritual direction is a conversation, a dialogue between two people. In such a conversation, one person aides another, often by process of question and answer, to express his or her experience of personal faith and mystery.
I have been ordained in the Evangelical Free Church of America for over 30 years and hold a Doctor of Ministry in leadership and a Ph.D. in socioeconomics (Spiritual Capital Theory). I have written or co-authored five books (see the Books Page).
I have taught and coached hundreds of leaders in my various roles and feel called to embrace the vocation of spiritual direction on a more full-time basis.
I have completed three years of training as a spiritual director, am certified through SoulFormation (https://www.soulformation.org/) and have been under supervision. A complete CV is available on the Home Page.
The ancient practice of spiritual direction could be defined as one Christian (director) assisting another Christian (directee) in discerning the presence and movement of God in their life. It has often been said, “in spiritual direction the ‘client’ is the relationship between the directee and God".
As a result, the spiritual director has one primary agenda, to assist the directee in attending to the God who is always present and pursuing us.
There is an additional article provided on this page that provides a deeper look at Spiritual Direction and its role in our spiritual journey with God.
As you think about entering into this type of ministry with me, please take some time to look over the following items that help define the pathway we would travel together.
1) Usually, spiritual direction is scheduled for monthly sessions that last 60 minutes.
2) The person under direction (called a directee) either meets with me in person or is responsible for setting up a time to work over the phone, in person, or via Zoom. These times need to be scheduled in advance. Usually, we would schedule up to six months of appointments to ensure that you have a regular time.
3) The directee is asked to make a six-month commitment to the spiritual direction relationship. At that point, we will discuss if this ministry is enhancing your experience of God and facilitating greater intimacy with Him. We will reassess every six months in order to discern if we are sensing God would have us continue. I will be judiciously available between direction appointments as well.
4) It is important that the directee “bring something specific” to the spiritual direction appointment. The directee should take some time before each session to determine what he or she would like to process. Sometimes it helps to look into your prayer life (is it meaningful? Personal? Why or why not?). It may also help to look at your primary emotions (what have you been feeling?) to determine the place where God is at work. Some people journal in advance, so they have a clear sense of what needs attention.
5) The directee should know that there is no formula for the sessions. These times together involve sharing, listening, praying, and times of silence as we listen to God together. The goal is to discover what God is saying and doing in the life of the directee: “How is Jesus seeking to reveal himself through the experiences of your life?” If a deep emotional or relational issue surfaces that will necessitate counseling, I will be happy to assist you in finding a therapist while we continue in spiritual direction.
6) The typical cost is $100 per session, but I would not want money to prohibit you from accessing spiritual direction, so I am happy to discuss an alternate fee. If you are a part of the Alliance Northwest (CMA), you can ask them to subsidize 50% of the cost as I am an approved Spiritual Director with them.
7) If you would like to explore a commitment to spiritual direction, please take some time to consider this commitment and then contact me. Our first session is a time to explore Spiritual Direction in person and to see if you feel there is a fit. There is no charge for this initial consult.
Blessings! Dr. Sam Rima