“Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, ‘Who do people say I am?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ.”(Mark 8:27-30)
Interestingly, Jesus’ interaction with his disciples in this passage appears to be a chance for them to check in with each other. In many respects it appears to have been an opportunity for Jesus, and those who serve with him, to get a gauge of how they were living into that which they were called to.
This also serves as a model for what we often refer to as Mutual Ministry Review. This is a process that provides an opportunity for individuals and organizations to collaboratively examine the progress of the ministry that they have been called to.
Take, for example, a church’s desire to expand its education ministry. Part of the agreed upon responsibility may lie with a clergy person, other parts may be for members of the vestry and other responsibilities may be assumed by members of the community.
After a certain period of time has passed all those involved gather together to mutually review each other’s progress in carrying their responsibilities. At its core, this is about intentional, mutual accountability and mutual support in the ministry we have been called to.
I, for example, meet three times a year with the leadership of the Council, Commission on Ministry, Trustees and Standing Committee for a review of the mutual ministry we share in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. Our mutual ministry is to resource and support the faith communities of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota so that they can effectively engage God’s mission. Our reviews focus on how well we are accomplishing this.
This is also a process that I and the Missioners and a growing number of our faith communities are embracing. If you are interested in learning more about this process for your faith community please contact either Tim Hodapp (firstname.lastname@example.org), your Missioner for Mission, or Karen Olson (email@example.com), your Missioner for Ministry.