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Christmas: A passive Spiritual direction

Creation is God’s constant gentle reminder that He has been and continues to be involved in our lives.  And that He is available.  Christmas, with all the decorations and gifts, is another passive gentle reminder of God’s incarnational desire to be among us and that He is available to us.  That as we go we are drawn to be with Him.  It is a passive spiritual direction.



Forgotten Goal

Forgotten Goal…

Maturity.  Quickly overlooked when considering the life in the Kingdom.  Spiritual direction is a significant relationship that aids and is complementarian to the work of maturity.  What challenges do you have to entering into spiritual direction?  What challenges do you have toward growing in maturity?




Spiritual Director as prophet

Many in evangelical circles today do not talk much about prophets today.  In the O.T. some prophets foretold the future but many times their role was to take God’s word and tell the message to His people.  Many times in spiritual direction, the director plays the role of ‘prophet’, listening to God and listening to the directee and speaking discerning words.  And as many times with the prophets, the words are often difficult to say and to hear but usually the directee knows in their spirit the words are true but are going to be difficult to live.  That is why the relationship of Director and directee is so important for continued growth and accountability.


Who’s ear does your pastor bend?

Christmas can be a difficult time for a pastor. Creating a unique angle to a story that has already been told many ways. People in the church have more emotional needs.  Demands are high for his time. But as the calls and e-mails mount up, who cares and listens to him?

Soulgardener desires to come alongside pastors and Christian leaders to listen, support, guide, and direct.  Pray for your pastor.  Encourage them to meet with someone outside their own church to listen to them.  Being a pastor can be a lonely place.

If you are a church leader perhaps you should consider adding the opportunity to have a monthly visit with a spiritual director as part of his benefit package.


Mark Goins


Restore, Renew, & Rebuild

” and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.  And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.”  Isaiah 58: 11-12 (ESV)

Growing toward maturity and wholeness is most of our goals at the end of the day.  Family struggles, financial stress, emotional burdens, and spiritual dryness can appear as monumental obstacles toward this end of maturity and wholeness.  Conversation with a good friend, mentor, family member, or pastor can be a significant aide toward this goal. None of us are exempt from these realities.  No one is truly alone.  Where are you on your path to be restored, renewed, or rebuilt?



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Spiritual Direction

Spiritual directors come alongside individuals who desire to attend to the presence of God.  I assist directees to help listen to God and to navigate through spiritual challenges.  It differs from counseling or pastoral care in that relationship that is being nurtured is the one between the directee  and God. Counseling generally is concerned with one’s relationship with the past, relationships, or families in crisis. Spiritual direction is not focused on ‘fixing’ something, within direction one’s focus is on development and growth of one’s on going  relationship with God.  The spiritual direction I practice is Christocentric and Trinitarian in nature.  Spiritual direction has been practiced since the early centuries after Christ’s ascension.  Spiritual direction is not a disconnected mystic experience rather it is honing one’s ability to hear the Spirit of God who is our counselor and advocate.

Spiritual Direction is helpful in…

  • Deepening your prayer life
  • Cultivating a deeper relationship with God
  • Increasing awareness of God in everyday life
  • Developing a life of attention and reflection to one’s spiritual journey
  • Guiding through challenges in our Christian walk





Church Leader Soul Care

Jesus Christ is the Great and Good Shepherd.  Pastors, ministers, church leadership and para-church leaders work as under-shepherds to the local church flock and community.  Many leaders lack sufficient peer relationships that enable them to share openly and honestly with others.  Being in varied pastoral positions for over 25 years allow me to provide confidential and empathetic care.  With a background in therapy, spiritual direction, pastoral care I am able to speak into a number of different experiences and difficulties.  Perhaps you just need a spiritual confidant, someone you need to share your…

  • your personal or professional desires
  • personal concerns
  • personal growth
  • Staff/elder relationships
  • marriage and family struggles
  • Spiritual journey

If you are unable to afford direction, I offer a sliding scale for those involved in ministry.  You may also have my services included in your benefit package from the church or organization.  You could also include it in your continuing education budget.

I look forward to walking with you,


Mark Goins



Life Challenges

This Life can be fragile and hard.  We all need community, mentors, and guides at such times.  Soulgardener provides a listening ear, guidance, and direction in the midst of life’s challenges., whether it be from circumstances in one’s past, current relationships, or personal frustrations.  Redemption and reconciliation is at the core of my desire for individuals and families.  I can also provide care in the form of a ‘case manager’ to aide you when there are multiple challenges to navigate.  I also have a number of professional relationships that I can contact as well.  All meetings are confidential unless there is fear of life and death circumstances.

Sometimes the greatest challenge is simply making the call.  You will be heard, valued, and affirmed that you are not alone.

Mark Goins



Retreats & Seminars

Church Leaders, if you need an outside resource to do training for your staff or workers I am available to lead in following areas for a seminar and/or Retreat.
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Group Spiritual Direction
  • Discipleship
  • Pastoral Care
  • Leadership Development
  • Men’s Discipleship
  • Small Group Leaders
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