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Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Director's Word: Clarity of Vision

For those of you on internship, do you remember this image from our internship orientation? In the orientation session, we talked about two distinct arcs of learning over the span of one’s internship. One of the arcs had to do with the flow of internship: entering a community, establishing rhythms of reflective practice, growing in leadership/bearing fruit, and lastly, ending well. The other arc had to do with some integrative practices that every leader must exhibit when leading Christian communities: visioning, engaging people in ministry, making gatherings memorable, and pacing yourself for the long haul.  I mentioned that your supervisor will live out these various leadership practices, and you have the unique opportunity to take note. So, don’t miss it!

So, what does it mean to keep the vision clear in your community of faith?

By now, you have had a chance to settle into a particular community and to begin to understand the culture and ethos of the community of faith. Much of that is guided by the leaders who have set the tone with a particular understanding of visionary leadership. What do you notice?

Take a look around. Do you see concrete or tangible signs of vision in action? Is there a mission statement in your community? If so, what does it look like? I’ve noticed communities over the years that have varied approaches to mission statements. Some are crisp and short; right to the point, “Love, Transform, Serve.” Others, are slightly longer than the second and third article of the Creed (generally, not a good thing).  

As you begin to settle into this particular community of faith, ask yourself: “Do the mission, vision, and values of this community appear to be embodied by the community of faith?” If so, how do you see meaningful expression of that vision? If not, how might the clarity of vision be encouraged?

Sometime this month, I would encourage a conversation with your supervisor (whatever ministry context you may be serving in) to learn how she/he understands vision and it’s role in day to day ministry.

Peace,

Tim

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