What is spiritual direction and how is it different from coaching?
In both coaching and spiritual direction, the focus is on your life. A coach and a spiritual director both express curiosity on your behalf by asking open-ended questions, listening for significance beyond the words you say to help you reflect on your own life. The goal of both spiritual direction and coaching is to help you to become more aware of yourself and to bring greater intentionality to your daily living as you seek to steward what God has entrusted to you.
So, what’s the difference?
In coaching, your coach collaborates with you and inspires you to take meaningful action toward your vision of the future by setting purpose in the present. Often, coaching includes setting goals, finding balance, and pursuing dreams. A coaching session might begin with celebrating any action you have taken since the last session, naming any resistance to the goals you set, setting purpose for today’s session, working through a particular issue you present, and developing action steps for you to take. The coach might wrap up the session by asking you to name what you found to be most valuable today. Coaching is primarily future-oriented and action-focused.
In spiritual direction, your director creates space for you to notice God's presence in your present life. Your director helps you pay attention to God's movement in your life, deepening your awareness and fellowship with God in your ordinary, daily life. You and your director will listen together for God's direction and will consider together how God might be inviting you to respond to what He is doing in you and through you. Your director might begin your time with a spiritual discipline (scripture reading, meditation, sacred poem, meditation, etc.) to help you to shed the noise of daily life, followed by a time of silence for you to notice whatever God brings to your mind. Based on how you choose to respond to God's activity, your director may offer some spiritual practices for you to consider and will end your time with prayer. Spiritual direction is primarily present-oriented and focused around who you are and who are you becoming.
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