Every year all clergy in the Diocese of London undergo what is known as a Ministerial Development Review (MDR). I’m going through mine at the moment. It’s not really an appraisal or an assessment as such. More a process that allows the priest to think about her or his ministry, see what may – or may not – have been successful and fruitful over the past twelve months and think about some strategies or training that might help shape the following twelve months. It is an exercise to get us thinking about where we are in our ministry and where we are with God. It is, to be blunt, an exercise that is not always joyfully participated in because it involves an investment in time and paper-work and honest soul-searching. But it is worthwhile. Not least for the opportunity to sit down with an experienced ministerial consultant from outside your context and talk about your ministry and your vocation.
Some of the questions we are invited to reflect upon include: How has the year been for you? How are you feeling about it? When did you last tell anybody else how it really is? Are you looking after yourself? How are you physically? Are your relationships healthy? Where/how do you feel vulnerable? What do you long for? What makes your heart sing? When did you last get lost in wonder, love and praise of God? These type of questions make us – all of us, not just clergy – think about what is important in our lives and allow us to do a type of spiritual, emotional and physical audit of our lives. If you get a moment in the next few days, try and reflect on some of the questions above – honestly. If some of your answers aren’t what you would hope for then offer them up to God. He has big shoulders for you, for me, for all of us, to lean on.
With every blessing,