Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Leader as Spiritual Director

Lately, I have been taken with the idea that the basic premise of the discipline of spiritual directing could be a good metaphor to explore the intersection of leadership and spiritual formation. Barry and Connelly's definition for Spiritual Direction might be a good place to start:

"We define Christian spiritual direction as help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship."

Barry and Connelly's good definition reminds me of a description I once read of the ministry of the Old Testament Prophet, where the purpose of the prophet was to recapture the imagination of God's People back to Him. Christian leaders get the attention of those that follow and lead them back into the presence of God.

William A. Barry and William J. Connelly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction (New York: Seabury, 1982)