On Feb. 4 Ohio Conference held a daylong event to introduce pastors to spiritual direction, a practice of deepening one’s relationship with God and learning to grow in one’s own spiritual maturity.
This event, held at Camp Luz, brought together an equal number of spiritual directors and pastors, approximately 20 people altogether. Facilitated by Janice Hershberger, Randy Murray, and Christine Nafziger, it was a day of worship, asking questions, and a one-on-one experience with a spiritual director. It was a good experience for everyone participating.
Conference leadership’s desire is for every congregation to provide their pastor the option of spiritual direction for the health of their ministry as well as to provide a space to listen to God in the midst of their busyness.
Spiritual direction can help pastors have integrity in leadership, practice self-care and self-awareness, provide a partner in prayer, and provide a safe place for vulnerability, through a one-on-one relationship with a trained spiritual director. Because of these benefits of spiritual direction, congregations are encouraged to put funding for spiritual direction in their pastor’s continuing education stipend. Conference leadership is glad to talk with anyone who finds this financially challenging.
In the words of pastor and author Eugene Peterson, “It is not merely nice for pastors to have a spiritual director; it is indispensable.”