What is spiritual direction?

Spiritual direction is the practice of one-to-one spiritual companionship in which we take time to discern and increase attentiveness to the movement of God in our everyday lives. This process helps cultivate knowing and being known by God through shared conversation and exploring optional prayer practices together. A spiritual director is a witness to another’s spiritual journey as he/she pursues deeper intimacy with God, discernment in life transitions and inner healing for optimal emotional health. The Holy Spirit is the true Director in our lives, but a spiritual companion (spiritual director) can often help you hear his voice or notice his presence.

What are the objectives of spiritual direction?

You might find spiritual direction rewarding if you're after:

  • Growth: you may want spiritual growth and deeper intimacy with God;
  • Soul care: awareness and nurturing of your interior life for transformation and inner healing;
  • Understanding: you may want to reflect on your path in life and what it means to walk it authentically; or,
  • Discernment: you may want help navigating life‘s transitions.

What can I expect a spiritual direction session to look like?

Spiritual direction is never the same for each person, but with me it will always be done:

  • Intently: I’ll be listening prayerfully while we talk, pray & read scripture;
  • Safely: I'll be listening with compassion as you share your experiences of God in your life;
  • Individually: I’ll work with you to explore spiritual disciplines and practices based on your interests; and
  • Confidentially: our conversations are always confidential. However, I ask your permission to share part of your story (without using your name) with my supervisor. Receiving supervision is part of my own spiritual and professional growth.

It can be helpful to know that spiritual direction is not:

  • Spiritual direction is not discipleship or Bible study. There is no set curriculum for spiritual direction. Scripture is read at times but listening to the Spirit and discerning his leading is the central task in spiritual direction. The conversation is determined by what the directee brings to the session and we follow the Spirit’s leading together.
  • Spiritual direction is not authoritarian or directive. The spiritual director will never replace the authority of God or scripture. A director may offer suggestions or ideas but the directee is always free to decide how to respond. The Holy Spirit is the true director.
  • Spiritual direction is not counseling. They share some similarities, but there are also important differences. Counseling is problem-centered and spiritual direction is Spirit-centered. Counseling is usually short term and focuses on strategies for healthy functioning. Although personal problems are likely to surface, spiritual direction is on-going and focused on the directee's relationship with God and how he/she is experiencing God.

Is there a standard of ethical conduct for spiritual direction?

Spiritual Directors International completed the booklet called the Guidelines for Ethical Conduct to clarify the relationship between the spiritual director and directee. Please click here to read the guidelines.

What is Immanuel prayer?

Immanuel Prayer is a facilitated prayer experience to connect and interact with the Lord to help deepen your relationship with the Lord and resolve painful life experiences.

What can I expect an Immanuel prayer session to look like?

Each Immanuel session is different as we follow where the Holy Spirit leads us. The prayer minister will help you begin with one of your positive memories of feeling gratitude or connection with God. You may then be invited to notice Jesus with you, ask him questions, and respond to Him. If a painful memory comes up we explore that a bit while staying connected with him.

What are the fees for spiritual direction or Immanuel prayer?

A suggested donation of $50 per one hour session may be paid in cash, check to Lisa Nelson, or with the Venmo app (@Lisabeth-Nelson), or QuickPay Zelle at the end of each session.

What is a silent directed retreat?

A silent retreat offers an opportunity to get away and focus on your relationship with God. In solitude, we remember our true identity as the beloved, our purpose and our calling. Each retreat includes times of group worship and scripture meditations with suggestions for reflection during your times of solitude. You are free to enjoy your time with God, doing whatever truly deepens your relationship with him, such as resting in your private room, walking the outdoor labyrinth or trails, taking a nap, eating in silence, enjoying art work, journaling, reading your Bible, or doing nothing. Every retreat closes with an opportunity to share what you’ve experienced and celebrate the goodness of God together.

The goal of a silent directed retreat is connecting with God, not always learning more, but taking time to savor and relish his truth and love more deeply. These retreats are open to all men and women who long to be available to God’s presence, and his invitation for deeper intimacy.

Why is spiritual direction offered during a retreat?

A spiritual director is simply a companion and a witness to accompany you on your journey. This conversation is helpful as you process what God is doing in you, listening together to the true Director, the Holy Spirit. In response to the sharing of your thoughts, feelings and experiences, a spiritual director offers questions, scripture or words of encouragement for deeper reflection. Spiritual direction is always a private confidential conversation and is included in the cost of the retreat.