Sometimes congregants picture student ministers or seminary interns when they think about supervisory relationships within the context of their congregations. But pastor and former professor Abigail Johnson sees supervisory relationships in many areas of congregational life. Her belief is that supervision is a congregational ministry designed to help others develop their leadership and ministry skills. This ministry, she says, necessitates “attention to a number of key areas,” such as leadership, conflict, communication, anxiety, and power. Johnson encourages congregations to be communities of learners with a process of feedback, reflection, and evaluation. She offers ideas for ending a supervisory relationship well and considers how spirituality and supervision relate. Reflection questions and sample position descriptions are also included. Congregations who want to be intentional about forming lay-leaders for ministry will appreciate Johnson’s holistic view of supervision and learning. It can be used in small groups or as material for a lay-leader retreat.
Reviewed by Janet Hoover