Frequently Asked Questions
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About Christian Mentoring
Christian mentoring (also called spiritual direction) is often referred to as “holy listening.” A Christian mentor listens prayerfully and lovingly. The mentor never judges or accuses. The mentor may ask questions or ask for clarification. The goal is to help mentees grow in their faith through deep reflection: the kind of reflection only possible in a safe, compassionate relationship. A Christian mentor is sometimes referred to as a “soul friend.” Christian mentoring is a covenant relationship between the mentor and mentee; each agreeing to come to the relationship with honesty and openness.
A Christian mentor is not a life coach or a business coach. The ultimate goal is not to improve your life or your business (although those may be blessed side effects!). The ultimate goal is to strengthen your relationship with God… to make you more open to hearing God’s still voice… to create in you a heart and mind fully in tune with God.
A Christian mentor is not a psychotherapist or a counselor:
Spiritual direction [Christian mentoring] is not psychotherapy nor is it an inexpensive substitute, although the disciplines are compatible and frequently share raw material. [Christian mentoring] is not pastoral counseling, nor is it to be confused with the mutuality of deep friendships, for it is unashamedly hierarchical. Not because the [mentor] is somehow “better” or “holier” than the [mentee], but because, in this covenanted relationship the [mentor] has agreed to put himself aside so that her total attention can be focused on the person sitting in the other chair.” adapted from Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction by Margaret Gunther
A Christian mentor does not give instructions or assignments. Mentoring sessions rely on a revelational approach with the mentee talking and the mentor listening, questioning, and guiding the mentee to greater understanding.
…the [mentor] needs to combine gentleness with candor and expect commitment and hard work from the [mentee]. A good teacher demands accountability, which is why we usually learn better with a teacher than we do on our own, no matter what the subject matter. But this accountability is mutual, with no place in it for fear or coercion. [The mentor is] accountable to the [mentee], to whom she owes her attention, discretion, and prayers, while [the mentee] is accountable through taking the relationship seriously, honoring the [mentor's] gift of time and attention, and bringing her best and truest self to the work. adapted from Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction by Margaret Gunther
1. Expect to fill out a detailed questionnaire to help Pastor Amy Jo prepare for your sessions.
2. Plan to come to mentoring sessions with an open mind and heart.
3. Plan to be in a location where you can speak openly and without interruption.
4. Understand that the agenda is set by your own personal desires for spiritual growth.
5. Expect to be held accountable.
6. Expect to be challenged.
7. Expect spiritual growth which can be both joyful and painful.
Just a few of the benefits include:
- Enriched prayer life
- Better relationships
- Spiritual discipline
- More fruitful Bible study
- Greater wisdom
About Amy Jo Garner
Pastor Amy Jo’s philosophy is a simple one:
Each human being is a unique reflection of God. As such, each person is valuable and precious. Each of us has something vital to contribute to the world. My role as a Christian Mentor or Spiritual Director is to help individuals connect with God in a way that allows her or him to develop a spiritually rich life that magnifies her or his God-given gifts to the world.
Pastor Amy Jo Garner holds a MA in Pastoral Ministry from Northwest Nazarene University, an MA in Journalism from the University of South Carolina, and a BA In English/Speech Communication from the University of South Carolina.
Pastor Amy Jo Garner is an experienced writer, educator, and pastor. She works as a freelance writer and WordPress designer and also teaches English, history, and speech at a local Oklahoma City career college. She has served as both a youth pastor and a Christian education director.
Her business background includes work in the fields of non-profit communications, banking, aerospace, and real estate.
AmyJoGarner Ministries is faith-based, for-profit Christian ministry dedicated to promoting grace and simplicity in the Christian life. Visit the ministry’s home on the web, The Virtual Hermitary, for more information.
Soul Path Personal Development is a division of AmyJoGarner Ministries.