By Terry Shue
Raleigh, North Carolina, southern hospitality, walking to downtown restaurants, staying in neighborhood homes, and a passion for pastoral leadership formation drew together 12 pastors and leaders from our schools for pastoral formation. We talked about strengthening the church through strengthening pastoral leadeship development. We focused on the importance of developing good pastoral supervisorion for pastoral internships. We met in the building shared by the Raleigh Mennonite Church, a charter school and two non-profit ministries and Duane and Lois Beck were gracious hosts.
Recently Duane was granted a sabbatical from Raleigh Mennonite and chose a study project focused on the important asset of local churches for pastoral leadership development and the significant role the supervising pastor plays. He interviewed persons from the education, medical and law schools, banking, business, law enforcement and other executive coaches to discover their process in training interns or developing leaders and how they equip intern supervisors.
What was the expected goal of their internships? How did they assess growth of interns? In the range of professions interviewed, what were the essential behaviors that successful supervisors of interns shared? How might we better equip and coach pastors who supervise interns? Duane’s report became the starting point to listen and to learn from the rich diversity of congregational leadership development experience of conference participants.
We wrestled with the best expressions of what the church needs today with emerging leaders. The list of the six core competencies developed by Mennonite Church USA in 2006 was seen as important and foundational, but incomplete in developing the kind of leadership needed for our churches. We explored how the formation and transformation of the developing pastor must come alongside these competencies for a more complete pastoral development.
The group, building upon Duane’s report, used language of capacities to complement the use of compentencies. Competency measures growth in knowledge, skills and achievement; capcity describes the formation and transformation of the person of the pastor; in other words, the spiritual and character growth of the person of the pastor. Thinking about them as concentric circles, the capacities hold and contain the competencies. Competencies are embodied through the person of the pastor. Both capacities and competencies are needed and important.
Here is a rough list of the capacities which were discussed which supervisors have the privilege to help develop in pastoral interns:
- Clarify pastoral call
- Develop pastoral identity
- Learn reflective practice
- Promote self-Care
- Deepen one’s active relationship with Jesus
- Develop resilience
- Practice cultural awareness
More work is being done with these capacities which will build upon the good work which has been done already. If you are not familiar with the “Core Competencies” grid, check it out here.
I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this concept and if there are other capacities which you would add to the list.