Is there a longing in your heart for someone—a trusted companion—not affiliated with your congregation, to provide an undivided, listening ear for an hour a month? Someone who can help you work on your own spiritual growth? If something in your heart says “YES!” please read on.
We all know being a pastor is often a thankless, difficult job. You’re the teacher, preacher, shepherd, encourager, guide, counselor, let alone CEO and office manager. You are elevated above the rest of the people in your congregation whether you like it or not. Your congregation or parishioners look to you for spiritual guidance. They assume you have a strong “direct connection” relationship with God. Of course, you know you have no more direct connection to God than anyone else. This constant pressure to be the most spiritual guy in the room takes its toll on you. But since your job is to preach the Bible each week and to espouse sound, edifying theology to all who hear, you feel the pressure to be strong and sure of yourself.
But if you’re honest, you must admit you struggle and doubt just like any Christian. Since you are the one everyone else turns to for spiritual help, where do you go to discuss these same kinds of issues? You could go to other pastors, but most pastors don’t want other pastors to know where they are struggling. You could go to someone in your congregation, but most pastors don’t want to be seen as weak. While most pastors want to be vulnerable to their congregation, you know there is a level of vulnerability that is difficult to go to and still maintain the respect you desire. Plus, working through theological questions from the pulpit is risky.
Many Christians, including pastors, have rediscovered the ancient Christian art of spiritual direction. Even though it is an ancient Christian practice, it is still relatively unknown within many Christian denominations. I encourage you to rediscover it as a way to help you grow in your own spiritual life. A Spiritual Director is a faith companion who listens to your life stories with an ear for discerning the movement of the Holy Spirit in your life. God is present in your life even if you don’t hear God. When you take the time to slow down, begin to reflect, and take a long, loving look at what is happening around you, you begin to become aware of the experience of the presence of God. Intimacy with God leads naturally into transformation, healing, and action.
Learn more about spiritual direction and how you can connect with a spiritual director here: https://www.steppingstoneslife.com/spiritual-direction.