My post graduation was in Clinical Psychology. There we learnt that every therapist required to undergo a specified duration of supervision. It helped a therapist be clear headed, avoid bias and administer therapy meaningfully. Even practicing therapists were to have regular supervision, which I found most meaningful. The therapist would go to his supervisor, share their difficulties and struggles. The supervisors would even bring unchecked aspects in therapy to their notice.
I’ve been thinking. Even pastors need supervisors. Someone they could turn to. Someone to ask advice. It’s not just enough that all the fellow pastors are friendly enough and approachable. Someone who has seen the tides of time wax and wane. Someone who is scarred by experiences that made them wiser. Someone who would call a spade a spade, yet, keep it all together with brotherly affection.
I find this need especially in pioneering ministries begun in new places.
Yet supervision does not mean spoon-feeding. One should have the creative freedom and the thrill of taking the uncharted route, beautifully narrated by Robert Frost:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear.
Currently I find myself in front of that road which is grassy and wants wear.
I could do with some advice for the journey!