Spiritual direction in the Vineyard

Jon Stovell, Jul 23, 2018, 2:03 PM
Jon Stovell National Theological Consultant

What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction is a one-on-one relationship which helps an individual become aware of the movements, invitations and promptings of God in their life.

In spiritual direction, the director and the directee come together for the primary purpose of engaging in meaningful spiritual conversations, focusing on the presence and activity of God in the directee's life. In a word, spiritual direction is co-discernment, with the director holding space open for the directee, discerning together to "see what the Father is doing (John 5:19)," not just in that moment, but over the months and seasons of a person's life. One author defines spiritual direction as a wonderful way to "dust for the fingerprints of God" in your life.

Why is the Vineyard encouraging spiritual direction?

Spiritual direction fits particularly well with the centre-set approach of the Vineyard. One of our goals is to help you "aim" your life towards Jesus, the centre. Spiritual direction provides a regular opportunity for you to focus on how God is active in your life and how you are responding. This usually leads to a greater appreciation of Gods' love for us and our desire to love God in return. This also often provides us with greater clarity of how God might be leading us to adjust the trajectory of our life in order to be more oriented towards Jesus. Talking with a spiritual director can help us decide whether certain feelings or thoughts are from God or not and help us decide to follow those leadings or resist them. Sometimes we doubt experiences which might be from God or think that we are strange in some way. Sometimes we doubt that God is listening to us or even cares about us. Spiritual direction provides a safe place to talk about these experiences and these doubts. All conversations are private and confidential.

Church/Ministry Leaders (and Everyone else) and Spiritual Direction

We encourage everyone, from new followers of Jesus to seasoned leaders to consider how the role of Spiritual Direction might have great value in their own spiritual journey.

We do want to particularly encourage current and upcoming leaders in the Vineyard to seriously consider the value of spiritual direction in their ongoing Spiritual Formation as we continue to explore, together... "Health Begets Health."

According to Eugene Peterson in his book Working the Angles – The Shape of Pastoral Integrity, "Every Pastor needs spiritual direction. It is not merely nice for pastors to have a spiritual director; it is indispensable – our spiritual sanity requires it". (Working the Angels p. 167-168)

You and Spiritual Direction

As you seek spiritual direction, look for a person you feel comfortable with. A person who you sense is caring and wise in the ways of God. Also, during your first few visits seek to answer the following question:

Is this helping me to come to know and experience God in a more intimate way?

If not, talk this over with your spiritual director and see what other suggestion he or she can come up with to help you in your spiritual journey.

Our current list of Spiritual Directors

Each of these people are part of, or connected relationally, to a local Vineyard church. They have completed a formal recognized Spiritual Direction training program such as the Sustainable Faith School of Spiritual Direction. They each have offered a minimum of 50 hours of post-training spiritual direction. Also, all our spiritual directors receive regular spiritual direction supervision. This ensures a certain standard of safety, ongoing professional development, and trustworthiness.