“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matt 11:28-30 , The Message)
Want to deepen your intimacy with God? Want to better discern the still small voice of the Holy Spirit in your life? Want to walk with Jesus and learn the unhurried and unforced rhythms of grace? If so, consider seeking out spiritual direction.
Spiritual direction is a non-directive, contemplative practice that involves listening to the Lord with the aid of a spiritual director. It is a spacious place carved out in the midst of one’s busy life so that one can slow down, attend to God’s presence, see where God is at work in the details of one’s life, and grow in intimacy with the Lord.
How is spiritual direction different from discipleship, mentoring, and pastoral counseling?
This is a great question because there are some similiaries between these companioning ministries – for example, they all involve a lot of listening, but that is where their similiaries end. While each one is very important, they each serve different purposes. Here is the short version.
In discipleship, the discipler sets up a process with the disciple for spiritual growth and instructs the disciple in that process. In pastoral counseling, the counselor works with the person to problem-solve or manage a particular situation arising in the person’s life with the aim of improving that person’s life conditions and general well-being (including emotional and psychological health). In spiritual mentoring, the coach works alongside a person to help them develop proficiency in some task (for example, preaching or leading a small group). In spiritual direction, however, the spiritual director listens to God alongside the directee to attend to the presence of God’s in that person’s life and to help that person grow in Christ-likeness and intimacy with God. It involves a lot of listening and quiet presence before God.
To find out more about spiritual direction, check out this great article from Christianity Today.
Where Can I Seek Out Spiritual Direction?
Here are some great spiritual direction organizations around the country:
- Selah – In various states throughout the U.S.
- Coracle – Virginia
- Lumen – Texas
- ReNew – California, Virginia, etc.
- Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association – List of directors from around the country
If you specifically want to meet with Kristen Yates for spiritual direction, keep on scrolling down the page for more info.
Where Can I Seek Out Spiritual Direction Training
If you are interested in being trained in spiritual direction, here are some recommended organizations to do that.
What can I expect from a spiritual direction session with Kristen?
If you are specifically considering seeking out spiritual direction with me, Kristen Yates, this is what you can expect. While there may be some variation in direction sessions, a general session looks like the following.
- We light the Christ candle, hear from Scripture, and perhaps listen to a contemplative song.
- We enter into silence and then begin with prayer.
- You as the directee then share something that is weighing on your heart regarding your relationship to God or involves some area of discernment in life, whether it is big or small.
- We listen together for the voice of the Holy Spirit to see how God may be inviting you to respond. I may ask a few questions here and there and you respond as you are led.
- As we sense the Lord is leading us, we spend some times in silent prayer throughout the session, and then we end in prayer.
- Our goal throughout our time is to foster your sense of intimacy with God and to attend to God’s presence and working in the details of your life.
- As mentioned above, spiritual direction is not counseling and that is important to keep in mind. I do not give advice during the session but listen with you for the Lord’s guiding. I may suggest some spiritual disciplines that could aid you in this season of life, but I will most often let you discern that for yourself. Spiritual direction involves a lot of listening, silence, and prayer. It is a sacred, safe, and comforting space for you to be listened to and to encounter God.
How can I become a directee with Kristen?
If you sense that God may be leading you in this time to receive spiritual direction, you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. At that time, I will set up a time to meet with you. At that meeting, you can ask me any questions you may have, experience a taste of what a direction session is like, and begin to discern if God is inviting you into a direction relationship with me at this time.
How often will I meet with Kristen and for how long?
You can talk with me about the frequency of our meetings when you first meet with me, but generally speaking, spiritual directees meet with with me about once a month and go for about 6-10 months, generally taking a break in the summer season. Then at that time, we re-evaluate to see if we would like to continue for another season.
If I meet with Kristen, where will we meet?
We can discuss what is most convenient – my home, my church’s office, or in another location in Cincinnati, OH. FaceTime and Skype is also an option.
Is there a fee involved?
Yes, but ….. I understand that everyone comes from different financial circumstances, and I do not want fees to become an obstacle to you if God is leading you to seek out spiritual direction at this time. So if it turns out that spiritual direction with me appears to be a good fit in this season, let’s set up a time to talk and see whether a fee is doable at this time and if so how much. (In other words, you’ll pay on a sliding scale fee structure based on what you are realistically able to give at this time.)
Who is Kristen?
I am an ordained pastor in the Anglican Church in North America, with an MDiv, MTS, and Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Selah. Selah’s values are: Trinitarian, Contemplative, and Biblical. To find out more about me, my training, beliefs, values, and other ministries, be sure to check out my bio!