January 20, 2022

Professional Supervision: An opportunity for support

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Nick Burns wrote this blog. He has just joined our team as a mentor and professional supervisor. He brings a wealth of experience in Christian leadership and his authentic judgement freestyle enables reflection, growth and personal development. Nick joining our team helps us expand our service in professional supervision. His addition to our team is a blessing.

Nick writes…..

Over the years of Christian ministry, I often sought out support from other ministers. This enabled me to connect with some amazing pastors and leaders. However, often these relationships did not have a clear enough context to support me specifically in the challenges I faced.

Someone to help me reflect

To be honest, I needed someone to help me focus and reflect more deeply on my work and the influence this had on the people in my church community. I had wise, older pastors around me, peers in ministry and a lot of support but I did not have an external voice that had a similar experience in ministry supporting me to unpack, in a specific and purposeful way, the challenges I faced.

What if you had a chance to say something out loud about your work in Christian ministry that had been sitting uncomfortably in your spirit for some time? 

It might not be something you should discuss with a counselor or therapist; rather, it belongs to a particular spiritual or ministry context, and has the complexity of personal spirituality, leadership, servanthood, and community development, so it may seem cumbersome.

Engage with someone external from your work

There is no doubt that only a Pastor, Minister or Christian Leader knows the weight of the complex challenges of Pastoral ministry and leadership. Imagine how helpful it would be to engage with someone external from your ministry work. A person who is experienced in Christian leadership and trained in professional supervision from a pastoral context.

What is Professional Supervision?

Professional Supervision from a pastoral perspective is an external professional relationship with a focus on supporting the Christian leader as they work with and support the people in their community. The supervision relationship provides a regular structured context for the supervisee to pause, reflect, and gain clarity regarding their work, themselves and the wider community context in which they practise. Supervision has the capacity to develop and improve the quality of the supervisee’s work. This will positively influence relationships with the people they care for, support and lead.

What I am hearing.

It’s been a privilege to walk with a number of pastors and chaplains this year in a professional supervision context. I’ve been surprised at how rich the conversations have been as pastors and chaplains share their thoughts, pause and reflect. Below is what one church pastor had to say.

“This is the best form of accountability and support I received because it not only focuses on me but is connected specifically to how I lead my community of people”.

In my next blog, I will share what typically happens in a professional supervision session.


Can we help you engage in professional supervision?

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