Helping you hear & respond to God’s invitation to a deeper relationship
What is spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction is an ancient, Trinitarian-focused ministry based on clear Biblical principles and consistent church teachings. Although still unknown to many Protestants, over the past few decades it has rapidly grown within evangelical Christianity. Its purpose is to help you hear, discern, and act upon God’s personal word to you. It is two people, a director and a directee, coming together in a confidential setting of compassion and encouragement. As your director I will listen and help you discern the Holy Spirit’s presence and work in your life.
Spiritual direction is compassionate listening and companionship on your spiritual journey. Our time together in direction is about you growing closer to God and becoming more the person He created you to be. Our single focus is your relationship with God.
Spiritual direction is not mentoring, discipleship, pastoral counseling, or therapy. These are all good and have their place in every Christian’s life, but they are not the ministry God has called me to. I will not be teaching or directing you to do or not do specific things. As the Spirit leads, I may suggest spiritual practices or books to help you in your relationship with God, but these will not be assignments or required to continue in direction.
A biblical example of spiritual direction
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.
At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore, Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Then the Lord said to Samuel…
This story of Samuel’s calling is but one of the many Biblical examples of spiritual direction. Although he was ministering to the Lord and living day and night in the temple, Samuel needed Eli’s help hearing and acting on God’s voice to him. We, too, often need a guide to help us hear and respond to God’s voice–this is spiritual direction.
How Is Spiritual Direction Done?
Spiritual direction is more about praying and listening than speaking. It’s about us setting aside time away from distractions and all other activities for the sole purpose of you and I hearing God’s still, small voice for you. It’s about you listening for the Holy Spirit. About me listening to you and to the Holy Spirit. Through attentive listening and prayer-filled, silent reflection I will seek to help guide, support, and challenge you.
This deep listening requires time and silence in safe, confidential, prayerful surroundings. I have a private hermitage attached to my home where I personally pray and spend time alone with God every day. This space is available for our meetings or, if this is not convenient for you, we can consider other locations as long as they provide confidentiality, uninterrupted silence, and a prayerful atmosphere.
A typical session begins with prayer then a slow reading of a short Bible passage as we listen for the Spirit. We may discuss what you hear Him saying, how God has been moving in your life, where you are feeling peace or unpeace in your life, or whatever you feel led to share. There will be frequent times of silence for us each to listen and reflect on what the Spirit is saying to us. We’ll continue this rhythm of discussion and silence throughout the session. As our time together ends, we’ll close with another prayer.
Spiritual direction works best when done on an ongoing, consistent but not too frequent basis. I typically meet with directees for one hour each month.
My Spiritual Direction Training & Affiliations
I am currently a Spiritual Director Intern under the training and ongoing supervision of Leadership Transformations, Inc – Selah Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction. Selah is intentionally Trinitarian in theology, contemplative in style, and Biblically grounded. In this threefold context, Selah interns grow from the wisdom and experience of the Church, through readings in the historical and contemporary classics of spiritual formation, and through the learned practice of spiritual direction together in a residency-style format. You can find out more about Selah at www.leadershiptransformations.org/selah.htm
I am a member of the Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association (ESDA) and ascribe to their “Code of Ethics.” You can find more information on both ESDA and their Code of Ethics at www.graftedlife.org/spiritual-direction/esda/code-of-ethics
I have served full-time with Extreme Missionary Adventures (XMA) since January 2000. For 17 years I led volunteer teams sharing the love of Christ with the unreached in remote locations around our world. I now serve as President of XMA overseeing all our domestic and international operations. For almost two decades now God has been using my experiences at XMA to show me the need for spiritual direction and to call me to this ministry of helping others hear and respond to God’s voice.
I am currently under spiritual direction myself, driving 2 hours one-way to meet with my director every month.
I have been an active member of Woodlawn Baptist Church in Rayville, LA since 1986. Woodlawn ordained me as both a deacon and a minister of the Gospel.
I live in Rayville, LA with Jane, my wife of 46 years. We have 2 daughters, 4 grandsons, 1 granddaughter, and 1 great-grandson. I enjoy the outdoors, reading, and woodworking but most especially spending quiet time alone with my Lord.
How Much Does It Cost?
Spiritual Direction is an integral part of my ministry at Extreme Missionary Adventures (XMA, Inc.). I am supported in my ministry through XMA and therefore do not charge a fee. XMA is a Christian, donor-funded, nonprofit ministry. We are grateful for any donations God leads you to contribute. Click the Donate button below to help with our ministry.
how do i get started?
If, after reading this info on spiritual direction, you feel led by the Holy Spirit to pursue direction simply fill out & submit the form below to get the conversation started. If you are not within driving distance of Rayville, LA to meet with me personally I have some resources to help you find an evangelical spiritual director in your area.