I’m going to a training tomorrow for spiritual directors. And saying so, I have to acknowledge that some folks view the term, “spiritual direction,” with great suspicion. Somehow my name was added to a list that delivers daily missives condemning “spiritual direction,” “spiritual formation,” and “spirituality.” The basic problem with these jeremiads is that they are rooted in ignorance and fear.
Spiritual direction isn’t anything magical or mystical–it simply means giving someone guidance in prayer and Christian living. Pastors do it all the time. I think it a criticaland fundamental part of ministry. Otherwise, our counseling becomes clinical (if we are helping people with their problems) or mere intellectual (if we are talking about doctrine).
Within Adventism, I think Ellen White provides the best example of a spiritual director. She was, in essence, the spiritual director of the movement. Her letters that came to form the “Testimonies” were spiritual counsel to individuals and to the church as a whole. “Steps to Christ” is a basic text in how to live the Christian life (i.e., “spirituality”).
That said, here’s an article I wrote back in 2011: “Who’s Afraid of Spiritual Formation?“