What is Reflective Supervision?

Reflective Supervision is a 90-minute session with a trained “Supervisor” who creates space for you to regularly step out of the flow to catch your breath, reflect on and strategize around some aspect of your work as a minister and its impact on you and those with whom you work.

Why is it called Reflective Supervision?

This is supervision, not in the sense of your being evaluated, but as a connection provided place of support and accountability for your development, safety, and well-being, and that of those with whom you work.

What is a Reflective Supervision Session like?

Every six to eight weeks you’ll meet with a person trained for 90 minutes to help you reflect on an issue that you bring from your ministry on which you’d value some help in exploring. Examples of the kinds questions you might explore together:  

  • How can I best deal with this challenging situation?
  • What do I need to do to prepare for an upcoming event?
  • How can I deal more effectively with administrative tasks?
  • How do I manage conflicting expectations?

Your reflective supervision will help you narrow down what you want from the conversation and provide processes for your to receive deepened insights and next steps for your selected issue.

Is this a confidential conversation?

As Reflective Supervision sessions close, together the supervisor and supervisee will create an “agreed record” of the conversation that notes the main topic (ex: Sally explored how to establish a working relationship with her new SPRC chair), any significant risks (e.g burnout, communication breakdown, financial or legal risks and steps to be taken), and any referrals that require action. A copy of this record, and only this record, goes to the person with primary oversight responsibilities for your ministry, typically your district superintendent. The agreed record allows for confidential conversation, while providing the person with oversight responsibility for your ministry with the information they need to help them fulfill their responsibilities to you and to the greater system.

How is Reflective Supervision different from coaching?

Coaching and reflective supervision can feel similar. But where coaching has a tight focus on making measurable progress towards a defined goal in some aspect of your ministry across time, reflective supervision has the broad focus of your ministry in general and a greater emphasis on surfacing the insights that then lead to next steps and wholistic development as a ministry practitioner.

Who are the supervisors?

The supervisors are active and retired clergy and laypersons active in the United Methodist Church who have received training to be a supervisor. Read their bios here.

Are Reflective Supervision sessions in person or by zoom?

You would negotiate this with your supervisor. In-person sessions may not be possible because of the geography of the Conference and the location of the supervisors.

What is expected of me?

You would commit to six 90-minute sessions over 10-12 months and preparation before each session. Preparation means prayerful consideration of what issue or focus you will bring to the reflective supervision session.

How do I sign up for Reflective Supervision?

You can register Reflective Supervision itself here. You will be matched with a supervisor shortly after registering.

How much will it cost?

At this time, for this initial pilot in the TWK Conference, there is no cost for participating. If you would prefer to receive supervision from a supervisor outside of the Conference, typically the cost is approximately $900 for 6 sessions over 12 months. 

May I use continuing education funds the church has budgeted?

Yes. You are encouraged to share with your Staff Parish Relations Committee that you are in Reflective Supervision.

Who may I contact for more information?

If you have any questions, contact the Courtney Lawson, Ministry Associate.