Shaping Spiritual Leaders: Supervision and Formation in Congregations
Author: Abigail Johnson
With a Foreword by Dudley C. Rose
Supervision–the shaping of spiritual leaders–occurs formally and informally in many aspects of congregational life. Every year, thousands of pastors supervise field education students and interns; staff members and lay leaders often supervise committee members or other staff; clergy and lay leaders supervise each other as a way to offer support and establish accountability. While supervision enhances the work of all concerned, it is rarely explicitly addressed in congregations. For over fifteen years, Abigail Johnson has supervised and trained others to supervise candidates for ordination within the United Church of Canada. Recognizing that supervision is as important in the formation of lay leaders as in the life of candidates for ordination, she has developed this book to guide all who supervise others in a congregation. Johnson views supervision as a ministry and shows how leaders can use their own innate gifts to enhance their supervision skills. By shaping the supervision relationship based on the gifts of the people involved as well as the context in which the relationship occurs, supervision can become an opportunity for mutual growth and learning that strengthens all other areas of ministry. This book provides a hands-on approach to supervision, addressing key areas such as identifying a learning focus, covenanting, managing conflict, understanding and using power and authority, offering and receiving feedback and evaluation, and celebrating and ending the supervisory relationship. Supervisors who pay attention to these and other key areas will help those they supervise develop their gifts for ministry in all forms.
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