Mutual Ministry Review
Mutual Ministry Review is an opportunity for discussion and mutual review of the total ministry of the parish.
What is a Mutual Ministry Review?
Mutual Ministry Review (MMR) is an opportunity for discussion and mutual review of the total ministry of the parish, including these four objectives:
To assess how well the leadership team (clergy/wardens/vestry) are fulfilling their responsibilities to each other and to the ministry they share.
To further define how the leadership team will provide leadership towards fulfilling the mission of the parish.
To identify and isolate areas of stress (conflict and disappointment) which need attention so as not to adversely affect mutual ministry.
To clarify the expectations of all parties so as to provide a healthy environment for the work of ministry.
Mutual ministry is a radical reframing of the idea that strong individuals are solely responsible for the well-being of the whole community. The individual approach has often resulted in clergy isolation and burnout, or blaming either the community by its clergy, or the clergy by the community. The strong individual leader approach also misses the abundant talent available to the community when ministry is seen as a common effort.
All members of the Christian community, not just the ordained clergy, are called to be ministers. Throughout Scripture and our tradition, we are all called to ministry. In baptism we are made members of the eternal priesthood, and we are all called to say the prayers, to come together in fellowship, and to continue the apostles’ teaching.
The apostle Paul wrote his letters to communities, not only to the leader of the community. Most importantly, Jesus reminds us in his summary of all the Law and the Prophets that we are to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. This command suggests that we are to live in relationship, and that calls for mutual ministry. Thus, mutual ministry, while a radical reframing of leadership, is also fundamental to Christianity.
The best time to begin the mutual ministry cycle, and preparation for reviews in particular, is at the beginning of ministry relationships.
Ideally, the orientation to mutual ministry planning and review begins among congregation members during the call process and immediately extends to the newly called person. It is also appropriate to conduct a mutual reflection with interim clergy before they leave.
To get the new relationship off to a good start, review:
- The parish vision and goals developed during the call process
- The new person’s gifts and goals, and expectations outlined in the letter of agreement
- The parish profile
- Additional sources of information to help establish mutual expectations.
Do not use MMR as a means to resolve conflict.
After attending to the deeply rooted issues that generate conflict, use MMR to keep expectations and feelings well aired.
If conflict shows up in the midst of an MMR, the outside facilitator will know what to do.
For names of consultants who are trained to lead Mutual Ministry Reviews contact: