Interested in spiritual direction? Read the following and the fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get started.
Frequently asked questions
- What is spiritual direction?
- Will a spiritual director tell me what to do?
- What typically happens in a spiritual direction session?
- How does spiritual direction differ from discipleship?
- How does spiritual direction differ from counseling?
- How often would I meet with my director?
- How do I get started?
- How much does direction cost?
- Do you only meet locally with directees?
What is spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction is a listening ministry. It gives us an opportunity to examine our lives prayerfully with another, trained companion at our side. Together we listen to your experience, and to the prompting of God's Spirit at work in your story.
Will a spiritual director tell me what to do?
No—in this sense, "spiritual direction" is a bit of a misnomer. In our sessions, the real Director is the Spirit of God. A trained director works to facilitate a sacred, safe space where you can listen for God's direction. Directors walk alongside you in your journey.
What typically happens in a spiritual direction session?
When we meet, we sit together in a quiet, peaceful place (either face to face, or virtually through Skype). I begin by lighting a candle to remind us of God's presence. Then we share a brief silence, which helps us quiet down and enter our time of attentive listening. After a prayer, we begin with a question: How is your soul? How are you experiencing God lately? What is on your heart? Then together we listen to your life, and explore how God is at work in your daily experiences.
In spiritual direction we talk about prayer, faith, and spirituality, yes; but also work, fender benders, that text message you can't stop thinking about, or the loaf of bread you baked from scratch. We explore the mundane and the sacred, believing that God is in all of it.
How does spiritual direction differ from discipleship?
Typically, discipleship programs involve going through certain content, engaging specific practices, and have a settled outcome in mind. Spiritual direction is much more open-ended; whatever is happening in your life is where we listen for God. Unlike the teaching focus of discipleship, the direction relationship is about listening to your life. Direction is a good companion to a separate discipleship relationship.
How does spiritual direction differ from counseling?
Direction is not counseling or therapy. In general, counseling aims at helping the client learn skills to heal from emotional and relational wounding and return to "normal" functioning, at which point counseling is no longer needed. Direction, rather, is an on-going relationship that explores God's presence in all of life—suffering and crisis, yes, but also in joy, abundance, and everything in between. Direction is not meant to take the place of counseling, and at times a spiritual director will refer their directee to a counselor for help with specific issues.
How often would I meet with my director?
Generally direction takes place once a month. Many directees benefit from meeting every two weeks, particularly at the beginning of the direction relationship and in seasons of transition.
How do I get started?
The first step is to contact Ben Barczi, using the form below or by email, to discuss your desire to enter the spiritual direction relationship. We then will set up a first session to talk further about how direction might fit into your life at this stage. There is no charge for this initial appointment.
How much does DIRECTION cost?
The rate for spiritual direction with Ben Barczi is $75/hour, plus applicable fees. If you are in financial distress, other arrangements can be discussed. This can be paid via check or verified PayPal.
Do you only meet locally with directees?
Poiema Soul Care is located in Portland, Oregon, and locally I meet with directees in person.
However, I very enthusiastically encourage distance direction. I meet with directees from all over the United States through Skype. For many directees this distance option is a wonderful way to meet. In my experience, the quality of the relationship between director and directee is more important than local, face-to-face presence, and video conferencing provides a very suitable medium for spiritual direction.
If you are interested in direction at a distance through Skype, I encourage you to read "Spiritual Direction at a Distance" and contact me to discern if this is a good option for you.