Rev. Jonathan Crane

What is Spiritual Direction?

My Approach – spiritual direction is simply confidential listening and reflecting the story of God in someone’s life. The Goal – to be “In God for the world, and in the world for God” God is always at work (John 5:17), that is not the issue, but it is our human nature to overlook God’s action without some help.  Awareness of God’s action is the key practice of being able to stay ‘in step’ with the Spirit – both in our own transformation and in being of help to God’s work beyond us. We are given in the Bible the vision of, one day, the whole world living fully in God’s love - “God so loved the world…” (John 3:16) and the whole of creation groaning for redemption (Romans 8).  In light of this, we are invited to participate in that work of being transformed into Christ’s image ourselves, and of helping earth become a little bit more like heaven each day.  Spiritual direction invites us to pay attention to just how God is inviting US to participate in bringing that vision to its fulfillment.

Reasons one might seek Spiritual Direction

An individual wishes to ‘keep in step’ with the Spirit, and follow God’s work in their life Life has changed through grief, through a job change, through personal renewal and you are trying to sort through and process how God is walking with you. To undertake the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius – a long 4 part prayer process. Someone is seeking a deeper life of prayer with God, and wants someone to keep them accountable and conscious to their life of prayer. You feel God drawing you (calling you) into a particular way of life or living (lifestyle, job, vocation, marriage, celibacy, prayer) and you need space to explore and discern God’s holy nudges. To be a better follower of Jesus

Further - what Spiritual Direction is and is not

Spiritual direction is not certified counselling, it is two people sitting together listening together to God Spiritual Direction will not fix all your problems :), but it will help you process God’s work in the midst of trial and transformation. Spiritual Direction is not a casual coffee meeting or for friendship forming, it is serious spiritual work focused only on God’s work in the directee. Spiritual Direction is not mutual.  The Director has his/her own spiritual director and supervision sessions with someone else.  This allows each session to be completely focused on God’s work in one person.


The Anglican tradition honors a diversity of spiritual approaches – traditional, evangelical, liberal, feminist, monastic, and modern.  However, labels are rarely helpful and God’s story in us transcends any neat categories.  The deeper question is who are you with God. What is old is new, and what is new is old.  We are grafted into a spiritual tradition that is ancient in form, and yet being renewed day by day.  The questions are the same – “how do we follow Jesus today?”  “how do we build on what has gone before?” Open to long-term Christians, doubters, seekers, born-agains, fighters, cynics, and wanderers The bible is a key way that we learn the patterns of God’s compassionate work with us.  Imaginative contemplation on the scriptures is extremely helpful in the work of Spiritual Direction.  In Jesus we meet God, and the biblical writings introduce us to Jesus. The Ignatian tradition provides a great foundation and pattern for spiritual directions.  This includes Gospel Contemplation, St. Ignatius’ rules for discernment, Consolation and Desolation, the Principle and Foundation, a focus on gratitude and grace, and the Spiritual Exercises themselves. Absolute grace.  God receives us as we are – often broken and rough around the edges.  We think “If they really knew me, they wouldn’t love me.” God says, “I really know you, and I really love you.”  Jesus proves God’s love through his life of compassion and self-giving, and God in Christ stands in solidarity with our suffering through his innocent death on the cross.  The resurrection proves to us that God’s love is greater than all things that may beset us in this life, and that life with God extends beyond what we can mortally imagine. Both the Director and the Directee are free to end the process of direction at anytime, and especially in the first few meetings.  No reason needs to be given, and no hard feelings should be held. God is in all things.

Remuneration and rhythm

A typical offering for direction is $40/session – a donation made out to and receipted from St. Augustine’s Church.  6110 Fulton Rd. Edmonton, AB, T6A 2K8. Many meet monthly for spiritual direction, at a time and place convenient for both parties, but other schedules may be chosen depending on specific needs.  All meetings are confidential.