Potter’s Inn Terms and Definitions

Developed by: Stephen W. Smith, Dustin Hibbard, Joe and June Walters, Rebecca Hinebaugh and Craig Hamlow.

NO COPIES WITHOUT PERMISSION  COPYIGHT@2015 Potter’s Inn. All rights Reserved.

Spiritual Direction – A prayer relationship where the director joins the directee to listen for, observe, discover and discern the presence, movement and leading of God’s Spirit in and among the directee’s life. The director offers space, guided questions, observations and silence to help the directee hear and see God. The director guides the directee to listen deeply and personally toward growing intimacy with Christ. The director does not offer anything beyond what God reveals in the context of listening prayer. Focus is placed on presence/dailiness with God. Traditional Spiritual Directors are trained and often certified in the art of Spiritual Direction.

Spiritual Friendship – A reciprocal relationship agreed upon by two friends to provide support for the journey of life. Spiritual friends do life together with intentionality to nurture one another’s soul, help one another become all they desire and together move toward transformation. 

Counseling – A guidance relationship to assist another person to better understand themselves and their behavior, to resolve personal, social and psychological difficulties, and heal or change in ways that are healthier, sustainable and whole. Any form of counseling is directive in nature for the purpose of change and improvement. Counselors may be trained or certified in clinical or pastoral disciplines for the purpose of offering professional services to their clients. 

Discipleship – A learning relationship for the formation of knowledge, understanding and action as a follower of Christ. A disciple is growing in knowledge and intimacy with God as they learn who God is and what God has revealed to us. Discipleship emphasizes the development of character and action that reflect and glorify God. Prayer, study of God’s Word, fellowship/community with other believers, obedience to God, and sharing the Gospel message are core aspects of intended growth. All followers of Christ are called to be disciples and make disciples.

Mentoring – A modeling relationship when an older, more mature or experienced person comes along side another to encourage, demonstrate, give advice or counsel in any aspect of life for the purpose of helping, equipping, growing the other for success. Mentoring is healthiest when we look ahead to others who have gone before us to guide the way, have peers along side us who can share our journey and mentorees behind us whom we are leading. This constellation of mentoring is important to prevent stalling out in our development and catalyze progress along the journey of life to successes. 

Coaching – An equipping relationship to help another person take their skill set from where it is now to the next level through instruction, demonstration, training and correction. A coach helps one gain and establish disciplined patterns for future success.

Soul Care – A hybrid relationship integrating practices of spiritual direction, pastoral counseling, discipleship and coaching to guide another person in the care of their soul. Soul care gives attention to the whole person, their story past, present and future, both successes and failures to help them see and discern ways to walk more intimately with God while healing, growing and succeeding in life endeavors. Care for the soul includes spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, vocational, financial and other aspects of our life and being that influence our ability to live with wholeness. Caring for the soul involves growth in self-awareness, God-Awareness and the awareness of others in need.