Holy Invitations

Exploring Spiritual Direction

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For those who are actively seeking to grow in their Christian walk, it can be fruitful to have a special friendship with someone who can help them explore their relationship with God. This distinctive friendship forms the basis for spiritual direction, which is dedicated to listening for God's ways, desires, and invitations.

Holy Invitations is a comprehensive introduction to spiritual direction written for both directors and directees. Jeannette Bakke, an accredited spiritual director who has been practicing and teaching this material for over fifteen years, is one of the first evangelicals to write on the subject.

Bakke incorporates sample dialogue and reflective questions to acquaint readers with the unique practice of spiritual direction. Holy Invitations can be used by individuals exploring new approaches in their relationship with God, for spiritual direction training programs, or as a church or small group study guide. It answers questions such as: 



"In this wise, thorough, gentle book, Jeannette Bakke opens wide windows onto a landscape which is being explored by more and more inquiring spirits--that of spiritual direction. With Bakke's help they will be enabled to listen deeply to God and their own hearts and bring every aspect of their lives into the arena of discerning prayer."
--Luci Shaw, writer in residence, Regent College; author, Water My Soul: Cultivating the Interior Life and The Angles of Light

"In her Holy Invitations, Jeannette Bakke has performed a great service for Christians of all denominations. In a warm and encouraging manner, she reminds us of God's invitation to an intimate relationship, and invites us to consider spiritual direction as a helpful discipline in fostering that divine intimacy. Her 'case' for the usefulness of spiritual direction is convincing; it is knowledgeable, thoughtful, sensitive, and heartfelt. Her thorough and practical treatment of important topics related to the heart of spiritual direction makes her work an accessible introduction for beginners, a valuable reference book for experienced spiritual directors, and a useful textbook for course work. Helpful reflection questions at the end of each chapter and interspersed throughout the book gently draw readers to pay attention to how the material being discussed resonates in their own lives. In this way, she writes with a spiritual director's sensitivity and desire to accept people where they find themselves and to offer ways of facilitating their ongoing spiritual development. As a longtime practitioner and recipient of spiritual direction, I highly recommend Jeannette Bakke's work to anyone who wants to better respond to God's continual invitations to divine intimacy."
--Wilkie Au, Ph.D., Spiritual Development Services

"This book is an unusually thorough, practical, well-informed, and wise introduction to the ancient practice of spiritual companionship. Anyone considering this spiritual practice as a way of looking at how God's spirit is moving in the longings and experiences of their lives will be fully rewarded by its concrete and insightful explanations and questions. As a bonus, Jeannette Bakke provides a very mature perspective on the nature, disciplines, and rhythms of the spiritual life, grounded in the depth of her own considerable experience as well as her experience with directees and Scripture. An excellent bibliography is included for further reading."
--Tilden Edwards and Gerald May, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation

"Holy Invitations: Exploring Spiritual Direction by Jeannette Bakke is a book so well written and inviting that it begs the reader to continue reading and it is a book so rich and filled with meaning that it must be read slowly, reflected upon and savored. The author understands and is clearly at home with theories and practices of education, human development and spiritual formation. Her work therefore is not just a trusted guide to spiritual direction but is a trustworthy guide for spiritual living."
--Rueben P. Job, spirituality author and retired United Methodist bishop

"Holy Invitations: Exploring Spiritual Direction by Jeannette Bakke is academically responsible and weighty enough for a seminary text and yet accessible enough for the average reader and seeker desiring to take a step closer to God. The author offers a thorough review of the history and practice of spiritual direction as she leads the reader to an understanding of spiritual direction and spiritual formation."
--Rueben P. Job, spirituality author and retired United Methodist bishop

"Holy Invitations: Exploring Spiritual Direction by Jeannette Bakke is certain to become a classic text for all who are called to practice the gift of spiritual direction and for those who seek to use this gift in deepening their own walk with God. It is a book that I will use again and again and highly commend to all who wish to explore the richness of the God given gift of spiritual direction."
--Rueben P. Job, spirituality author and retired United Methodist bishop

"Here is a richly illuminating book on spiritual direction, written by a woman well practiced in the gently clarifying art of her subject. For those unfamiliar with the concept of spiritual direction, the author provides helpful and substantive perspectives on what it is, why one would seek it, and how it is practiced. Deeply rooted in prayer, Scripture, and classic Christian tradition, this welcome work integrates information and experience in a refreshingly holistic way. The book is distinctive in its generous illustrations of dialogue between directors and directees--sample conversations that could well instruct veteran spiritual directors alongside novice directees. Reflection questions and exercises ending each chapter help the reader explore the potential of spiritual direction personally. Highly recommended reading."
--Marjorie Thompson, director, Pathways Center for Christian Spirituality, Upper Room; author, Soul Feast: An Invitation to Christian Spiritual Life

"If you read this book carefully and wisely, it will reshape your way of seeing things. The author is steeped in contemplative listening to God, to others, and to her own life. The breadth and depth of perspective evoked in these pages is by turns illuminating, humble, astonishing, and mundane. It is an authentic spiritual gem. If you have an interest in spiritual direction, you could scarcely find a better guide."
--Marjorie Thompson, director, Pathways Center for Christian Spirituality

The Author

  1. Jeannette A. Bakke

    Jeannette A. Bakke

    Jeannette Bakke (Ph.D., University of Minnesota) has a certificate in spiritual direction from the Shalem Institute of Washington Theological Union and a D.Min. in spiritual direction from the Graduate Theological Foundation. A spiritual director herself and faculty...

    Continue reading about Jeannette A. Bakke