As you continue your journey into Christ-centered 3-C contemplative activism, we suggest you prayerfully consider Stepping Stone Three: working with a Christ-centered spiritual companion whose primary job is to simply come alongside you, becoming a spiritual friend in the care of your own soul.
In spiritual companionship, two friends come together for the primary purpose of engaging in meaningful spiritual conversations, focusing on the presence and activity of God in our friend’s life. In a word, spiritual companionship (direction) is co-discernment, with the spiritual companion holding space open for a friend, 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 companionship (direction) as a wonderful way to “dust for the fingerprints of God” in your life.
Watch this short video that offers a marvelous description of the work of spiritual companionship: holding space for others.
So, what are the tools of Spiritual Companionship?
A compassionate spiritual companion does her/his work through a combination of means: silence, prayer, reverent listening, excellent questions, keen observations, attention to the mind, affect, and body, self–awareness, and knowledge of both human personality and spiritual dynamics.
How do I know if Spiritual Companionship is for me?
There are many reasons why someone enters into a spiritual companionship relationship. Maybe you recognize yourself in one of the following statements:
- I feel like I’ve been at a plateau for a while. What new frontiers might God inviting me to explore?
- I’ve heard of spiritual disciplines, but I really don’t know how to make sense of them for my life.
- I would like to grow in my ability to notice God in my everyday life.
- I would like to know God better. I feel like I am at a stand-still in relating to Him.
- I want to grow spiritually. What might be a few next steps?
- I can’t see where I am in relation to God. I can’t see where I am headed.
- My spiritual life doesn’t seem to work the way it used to. What is going on?
- I would like to explore the intersection between my personal, spiritual life and my life of relationships and responsibilities.
The idea that only church leaders or those with great maturity in their faith can pursue spiritual direction (companionship) is false. While, indeed, pastors and leaders will greatly benefit from working alongside a qualified spiritual director, Christ-centered spiritual companionship is for anyone who desires to draw closer to God and to grow in his or her personal relationship with Jesus of Nazareth.
Spiritual direction is a prayer process in which a person seeking help in cultivating a deeper personal relationship with God meets with another for prayer and conversation that is focused on increasing awareness of God in the midst of life experiences and facilitating surrender to God’s will. David Benner
Where can I find a well-qualified, Christ-centered Spiritual Companion?
Click on the state or province below and the link will take you to a list of spiritual companions (directors) in that location. Keep in mind, once you find a friend with whom you feel a possible connection, many can meet with you via on-line communications!
All directors listed in our network are associated with and are working under the direction and supervision of Sustainable Faith School of Spiritual Direction, a Christ-centered ministry with a mission to create a culture of sustainability among leaders of churches and non-profit organizations across North America. Sustainable Faith is an accredited School of Spiritual Direction, recognized by ESDA (Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association).
Read more about one person’s journey into spiritual direction.
Read a very convincing article, “Why We Need Spiritual Direction More Than Ever.”
Click here to read about five gifts a person received from spiritual direction.
Click here to find out about retreats and conferences that will bring you into closer community with others who are on the journey to become 3-C contemplative activists…