Happy Fourth Birthday, Three Minute Ministry Mentor!
We are excited to celebrate and grateful for all the learning and connection over the last four years.
In Advent of 2018, we launched 3MMM. It’s a story I’ve told many times and a story which has been confirmed many times. Sharing the many facets of what it is to learn ministry in practice has been joyful. Every week we hear from professors, students, new ministers, and experienced ministers how much they are enjoying and learning from the blogs, reports, videos, and podcast.
Each season has an index that allows you to search by topic. I hope you will take advantage of linking to them and finding topics that might help you.
Maybe you are a professor and you could find support for your seminary or college ministry courses? Maybe you are a new minister or new to a call after years of work? Perhaps you could just use a little support and reminders about the various dimensions of learning and practice?
Maybe you need some encouragement for the Advent season ahead. All of this and more is available. For you!
Season one is based on the 50 topics chosen out of the Learning Pastoral Imagination Project research. Each topic can be considered on its own and as part of the vast net work of discrete learning moments as one embraces a practice of ministry.
To present those topics I created three minute videos each week. Every video begins with a provocative idea related to learning and practice. It is expanded with a story often from the research of the LPI project. And deeper into the concept. And finally I close with a question every week for your consideration. They can be used in Mentoring groups, peer learning groups, field education, other Seminary courses.
The weekly episodes can be used in mentoring groups, peer learning groups, field education, other seminary courses, or just for your own reflection in your journal.
Each of the first season’s topics are connected to the book Pastoral Imagination: Bringing the Practice of Ministry to Life.
In the second season we wanted to follow up on the topics we have explored in season one. In the fall of 2019 I interviewed several seminary professors and ministry practitioners. We made more short videos that explored our topics of learning and practice with greater depth. As we launched into Season Two, things were going along well. Then the Covid-19 novel coronavirus was declared a pandemic. The whole world turned upside down. It’s hard to believe that the majority of the life of 3MMM has existed in pandemic times. In 2020 we reached out to more practical theologians and ministers working in nonprofit organizations and churches.
We continue to explore what it is to the ministry in a rapidly changing and uncertain world.
In Season Three we had big news to start the year. The LPI project won a grant from the Louisville Institute. The 10-year round of interviews with people in our longitudinal study were underway! We were also living through the long and exhausting times as the COVID-19 pandemic wore on and the political atmosphere of the US was charged to its highest levels of animosity in memory.
For this third season we decided to do simpler interviews by sharing them in writing and circulated again through experienced ministers, activists, theological educators, spiritual directors, and ministry entrepreneurs.
Together we continue to learn more about ministry and practice and how the conditions matter for thriving and flourishing.
In 2021 during the third season we also launched the book Pastoral Imagination: Bringing the Practice of Ministry to Life. The book and the journal are available in our shop. We also did several live events including a four-week workshop with pastor and author, Ruth Everhart called The #MeToReckoning. That workshop can now be experienced as a self-paced course. We think it’s so important and we hope you might give it a try!
This year beginning in January 2022, wary from months on end of the COVID-19 measures and continued racialized of racially motivated violence and trying to navigate a topsy-turvey world, I decided to try more connection. The year began with an Epiphany event, which was well attended and deeply appreciated. We shared permission slips – they are still available in our shop. We could all use some encouragement to do the small things in life that give us the strength and energy to do the big things we are called to do. And then we began a series of live events interviewing more authors and ministers and theological educators.
During the first eight months of 2022, I was writing almost every weekday at The Writing Table with other professors, pastors, poets, business writers, and dissertation writers. My biggest project was to draft The #PandemicPastoring Report and share early findings from that work. I was also completing a much longer and more detailed report for Austin theological seminary. We released the report on September 1 and in the fall I have been sharing its findings and continuing ways with various groups around the US and beyond. If you have not taken in the report, I highly recommend you take a look at it today. It’s only 30 pages long and demonstrates with statistics and stories, surveys and interviews, with clergy and light people how we are living in a new era of ministry.
Happy fourth birthday, 3MMM!
Here we are at Advent once again. I am grateful for new beginnings and for celebrations of good work and meaningful connection. I’m grateful for each and everyone of you who has come along this way with me.
And what would 3MMM most like for its birthday? For you to share its riches and questions and inspiration with someone else you know who would like some support and belonging and good ideas for their ministry.
Will you help us out in that way?
My heart is full of gratitude. Blessings, friends, for all you do to embody the love and grace of Jesus Christ in the world. And love for God and neighbors and even enemies. And everywhere you work to create and sustain beloved community.