Ministerial Development Review
Jesus took time aside to reflect and to pray throughout his ministry. There is great value in reflecting prayerfully on the way we work and using it as a springboard for growth. Ministerial Development Review (MDR) builds on this discipline in a systematic way to support and encourage those who minister publicly in our parishes, chaplaincies and places of work. It is founded on the assumption that all office holders are responsible to God for the ministry entrusted to them and that they are accountable to the Church and to one another for the way in which it is exercised. MDR involves affirmation, discernment, encouragement and challenge.
Ministry is a gift and a trust for which each of us must give account. One of the responsibilities of every Bishop is the pastoral and professional care of clergy. Ministerial Development Review is an important way in which that care is exercised. Although much of the process is delegated, Bishop Robert takes a keen interest in the outcomes of a review. He will receive a copy of the summary paperwork and will acknowledge it personally.
At the core of every Ministerial Development Review is a guided discussion framed around an office holder’s ministry. The purpose of the review is to look back and reflect on what has happened over the last year or two of ministry and, informed by that, to anticipate and develop a clearer vision for what lies ahead and plan accordingly. In looking back there is an opportunity to acknowledge all that has been good and to give thanks, as well as anything that is a matter for lament. In looking forward there is an opportunity to anticipate the changing demands of the role and to identify future objectives and areas for development.
The MDR Process
The revised MDR scheme aims are that all clergy under common tenure will be reviewed every 18 months. Those in curacies will not be reviewed in this way until their curacies have been signed off. Clergy who are not on Common Tenure are encouraged to participate in the scheme, but are not under obligation to do so.
There are three key differences in the new scheme:
- Every other review will be undertaken with a member of the senior staff. The alternate review in the cycle will be conducted with a lay or clergy reviewer. Rural Deans will normally have a review with a member of the senior staff.
- There will not be a choice of reviewer, but if there is good reason you may ask for a different reviewer.
- You will be asked to develop a Learning Development Plan and there will be support for you to do this.
At the heart of every review is the key conversation with your reviewer which is intended to be supportive and affirming as together you work on the direction of your life and ministry. Much of the value of the review, however, lies in the preparatory work leading up to this conversation and in the Learning Development Plan that emerges from it and your commitment to following it through.
When it is time for your review you will be contacted by your Archdeacon’s office with the contact details of your reviewer.
Learning Development Plan
As part of your MDR you will create a learning development plan to focus and support your learning over the next two years. Before your review meeting, create a draft using the template and send to your reviewer one week before your meeting. You will then consider it during the discussion. After the meeting it should be updated by agreement with the reviewer.