Advisors are very important to the Member in Discernment Process. They function as a coach, mentor, and advisor to those who are discerning a call to ministry. Members in Discernment are each assigned an advisor after they have entered the process. They can suggest potential advisors to the Conference if they are aware of someone who might be able to serve in that role that is not already their pastor or supervisor. It’s important not only to add new mentors and guides to the formation process, but also very helpful to have added insight from someone who is a third party.
Job description for a MID Advisor:
As an advisor you have the important task of being a coach/mentor and advisor to members in discernment (MIDs)
The time commitment would include:
- one day of initial advisor training
- monthly or every other month one hour meetings with MID
- availability via e-mail/phone in between meetings
- participation in annual spring and fall MID gatherings, which include advisor refresher training
- interested advisors can choose to additionally participate in exploration retreats for MIDs and in Portfolio committee that reviews all MID’s portfolios
- the writing of an annual evaluation document of the MID (about 2 pages of answering questions along with MID’s annual self evaluation.)
The training of advisors includes:
- learning about the “Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministry in the UCC”
- learning about the MID’s portfolio process
- learning about the method of appreciative inquiry and coaching as a possible way of supporting MIDs in their process of preparing their portfolio
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DIALOGUE
- Name an individual who has mentored you or encouraged you in your ministry. What has that relationship been like? Tell a story describing a time when a mentoring relationship was especially significant for you.
- What are your hopes for the ministers of the future of the UCC? How do you see yourself playing a role in helping to nurture them in their call?
- As you reflect on the role of the Advisor in the process of ministry formation for Members in Discernment, what is the greatest gift that you bring? What kinds of support would you like in this ministry?