I was chatting recently with a friend. Don Flowers is a pastor in Canada. We’ve been traveling in the same circles for years. He’s a funny guy and while we were catching up, he said to me something like, “Hey what’s this new mentoring thing? Are you going to fix my ministry in three minutes?” Ha! Hahahaha!
First of all, Don’s ministry doesn’t need fixing. He has honed his pastoral skills; he lives with compassion and also a searing sense of humor; he leads with passion in and beyond the church; all of this serves him and the people in his care very well.
In fact no one’s ministry needs fixing. That is just not a helpful way to think about growing in the practice of ministry. And fixing, judging or proselytizing are not within the purpose of 3MMM.
So how might the 3MMM series be of any use to someone who is already wise and experienced in ministry?
The Three Minute Ministry Mentor might be helpful to an experienced minister in least three ways.
- The ideas, stories, resources and questions are designed to evoke deeper and better thinking about ministry as a practice. So wherever you are on your pathway of learning ministry, the invitation is to pause and think, and hopefully talk to some of your peers, about your practice of ministry. Connecting with others around meaningful questions makes the demands of pastoral life more sustainable.
- If you have many years of experience in the practice already, then 3MMM is also an invitation to begin thinking about how you are supporting and nourishing a next generation of ministers. When you have been a minister, chaplain or activist for many years, it can be challenging to remember what it is like to be new in ministry. The videos in 3MMM will help you recall what it is to begin, and more importantly give you empathy and compassion for new ministers who are in their own beginnings. So if you are supervising, teaching or working alongside ministers who are still fresh out of seminary, the ideas from 3MMM will help you to ask thoughtful questions and listen actively and supportively.
- Even if you are very experienced in ministry, the idea of ministry as a practice may be new to you. The questions and stories in each week’s 3MMM videos may evoke a new imagination about your calling and a new slant on how you integrate knowledge, skill, gifts and experience into your work each day.
All this talk of thinking, reflecting and asking questions… yet the practice of ministry is so much more than thinking and talking. It is an embodied, relational, and spiritual practice. So this week’s video presents a story that begins with ministry to a new family with an infant and stretches out into all the ways ministry is embodied.
To watch other episodes of the Three Minute Ministry Mentor, visit the 3MMM page.