Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Direction

What is Spiritual Formation?

Spiritual formation is the activity of the Holy Spirit which molds our lives into the likeness of Jesus Christ. This likeness is one of deep intimacy with God and genuine compassion for all of creation.  The Spirit works not only in the lives of individuals but also in the church, shaping it into the Body of Christ.  We cooperate with this work of the Spirit through certain practices that make us more open and responsive to the Spirit’s touch, practices such as Sabbath keeping, works of compassion and justice, discernment, worship, Scripture study, hospitality, spiritual friendships, and contemplative silence.

Office of Spiritual Formation, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction is the art of Christian listening carried out in the context of a one-to-one trusting relationship.  It is when one Christian is trained to be a competent guide who then “companions” another person, listening to that person’s life story with an ear for the movement of the Holy, of the Divine…”Director” really is a misnomer, because God is the director and I am simply one who companions, [who] assists the seeker in uncovering and discovering the direction of God in that person’s life.  This enables the directee to see, claim, receive, own, and reverence God’s voice, God’s nudging, and God’s acting, in such a way that it elicits a natural and genuine response.

Rev. Jeffrey S. Gaines, Seventh Avenue Presbyterian, San Francisco

Spiritual Directors 8 14 2015 (updated August 2015)

A Beginning Bibliography for Spiritual Formation

Presbytery Pastoral Care Network:

Presbytery Pastoral Care Network (PPCN) seeks to provide professional development, support, and resources for those caring for ministers throughout the Presbyterian Church (USA).

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