Pastoral Supervisors are registered professionals with training in supervision. In addition the Pastoral Supervisor brings years of ministry experience and training in disciplines such as theology, counselling, mentoring and ministry coaching.
Pastoral Supervision is about collaborating with a trained pastoral worker to prayerfully pursue God’s agenda for transformation through active reflection on your ministry practice. Pastoral Supervision is a relationship outside your ministry context that offers encouragement and support to persevere in the rigours of ministry life. The supervision relationship is characterised by trust, confidentiality, voluntary accountability, support and freedom to explore issues arising in your ministry.
Pastoral Supervision is not just for Pastors. It is for anyone in either unpaid or paid Christian ministry who is involved in ministry to people. Thus ministers, supervisors, counsellors, chaplains, teachers, cross-cultural workers and anyone else who would benefit from a safe relationship outside their ministry context.
Pastoral Supervision is focused on helping you reflect on your current ministry practice. Challenging pastoral situations, difficult ministry team relationships, personal struggles and sins, ethical practice, life and work balance, self-care strategies, development of ministry skills and offloading of distressing incidents are examples of some of the issues that can be brought to supervision.
1. Increased Resilience
Ministry workers are experiencing a growing amount of stress. Studies suggest that in Australia 23% of Australian ministers are presenting with burnout, and 56% of ministers classify themselves as candidates for burnout. Pastoral Supervision provides a place to reflect on the demands on ministry life, make wise decisions and take action to enable someone to thrive and not just survive in ministry.
2. A Safe Space
Ministry can be an isolating experience. The power dynamics of relationships with ministry co-workers and the people you minister to can you leave without a safe relationship to debrief. Supervision is a confidential relationship with someone outside your ministry space. It is someone you can be completely honest with so as to talk through situations and relationships as they really are. This helps the ministry worker make wiser and more intentional responses in their ministry.
Christian ministry has a significant amount of complexity. Difficult ministry relationships and situations, competing agendas, theology and ministry philosophies combined with our own life experiences and personality quirks makes it really hard to see things clearly. Pastoral supervision helps make God centred sense of who we are and how we can live wisely in the place God has placed us. They are able to offer an outsiders perspective, helping to clarify the best next step in your unique situation.