Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Creating safe spaces for leadership development: Missional masters

This evening a Masters of ministry (missional) intensive begins, with folk from inter-state and rural South Australia gathering for 3 days of learning.

The point of the Masters of Mission (missional) is to encourage action reflection research – for folk to be able to treat their context, their ministry placement, as the primary place for reflection on mission and ministry. This means a thesis that is more of a journal, a record of what has been implemented (action), and the learnings (individual, community, theology, missiology) that have resulted, which in turn has lead to more action, and more learning. And so the spiral between action and reflection continues over the 3-4 year period. Academic rigour is essential, but it need not be abstracted, impersonal, detached research.

Around the thesis is built a cohort experience (6 times a year) – for collegiality – along with, over the period of the Masters, a range of readings and intensive experiences.

This includes a leadership intensive and in particular the use of a 360 tool. As students engage in the Masters of ministry (missional), we want them to have a clear picture of themselves as leaders. Most leaders both overestimate and underestimate themselves. Our perceptions get skewed by ego, insecurity and the muddle around the word “leadership.”

To facilitate the 360 tool, we have worked with an independent resource, Sandy Jones, who has a consultancy in this area.

It has required a considerable amount of pre-work, in which the participant nominates 15-20 people who see them in action – in meetings, in peer relationships, in ministry – and are invited to reflect back what they see. This data is compiled and is provided, anonymously, to the participant. At the start of the intensive, each participant is linked with a coach, with whom they meet three times over the time. Once to make sure they are hearing the data correctly (most of us focus on the negative), a second time to start to devise a growth plan that builds on the strengths and faces the weaknesses, a third time to ensure the plan is realistic and achievable. That relationship will continue over a 12 month period as the plan is implemented.

It is a first time. But we hope that rather than teach an intensive about leadership, that instead folk in ministry get an accurate picture of who they are in context, and a chance to be strategic about their growth in mission and ministry. Which in turn sharpens their thesis, their action in a context.

For a Masters in Missional Leadership brochure.

And then more specifically, the shape of 2011 – Year One

Further posts:
For some thought pieces on the underlying methodologies of the Masters of Ministry (missional), see (here and here and here and here).

Posted by steve at 10:26 AM

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