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A Charge to Keep: Reflective Supervision and the Renewal of Christian Leadership

by Jane Leach



ISBN: 9781945935725




ISBN: 9781945935725


Supervision can be a gift of grace.

This book explores pastoral supervision in the context of leadership development and equips readers with practical tools with which to create and implement policies that will help ministers become better, more effective grace-filled leaders. The book is informed by qualitative research using the introduction of structured supervision into the life of the Methodist Church in Great Britain as a case study. The author then brings this research into dialogue with her pastoral experience as both a supervisee and supervisor in order to integrate supervision, together with its methods and Wesleyan theology, into the total life of the Church.

This book informs both ministry practitioners and those with responsibility for the formation and professional support of clergy about the nature, benefits, and obstacles of pastoral supervision and the issues that should be considered in introducing supervision into the life of the Church. The author begins by thinking about the reasons for considering supervision as a means of grace and transformation in the service of fruitful ministry and mission. She proceeds to outline what pastoral supervision is and is not. The final section explores some of the practical issues of devising and implementing a supervision policy.

Jane Leach is Principal of Wesley House, Cambridge and Fellow-Commoner of Jesus College, Cambridge. She is also a Methodist Presbyter, theological educator, pastoral supervisor, and trainer. Leach is co-author of Pastoral Supervision: A Handbook (SCM 2010, revised edition 2015); contributor to Chesner & Zografou (eds) Creative Supervision across Modalities: Theory and Applications for Therapists, Counselors, and Other Helping Professionals (JKP 2014); and member of the editorial board of Holiness: The Journal of Wesley House. Leach is currently leading a national training program in Great Britain designed to equip all Methodist District Chairs and Superintendents to offer pastoral supervision.

Praise for A Charge to Keep

“The introduction of structured, reflective supervision is the most valuable and positive thing the British Methodist Church has done for a generation (or more!), and it holds the potential to transform the experience and practice of ministry, both for the ordained and for the whole Church. In this outstanding and insightful book Jane Leach sets out the theory, rationale and practice of supervision, and grounds it in our Wesleyan spiritual and theological heritage. This is a book to read, ponder and apply.”

Martin Wellings, Superintendent Minister, Wesley Memorial Church, Oxford, UK

“Transformative, innovative, empowering, filled with accountability and grace, theologically and organizationally sound, inherently Wesleyan—just a few words I would use to describe the process of reflective supervision that Leach outlines in A Charge to Keep. All those charged with supporting or supervising clergy or laity who are in leadership in the church should read this book and consider adding reflective supervision to their toolkit.”

Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, Bishop, Pittsburgh Episcopal Area, The United Methodist Church

“Throughout my career as a pastor and an educator, I have been in search of a leadership formation practice that is fully integrated into the ministry and mission of the church. In this book, Jane Leach offers such a practice—reflective supervision. Grounded in the Wesleyan values of responsible grace and structured freedom, I believe that reflective supervision has the potential to become a constituent part of a normative, formative, and restorative process of intellectual engagement, spiritual and character formation, and leadership development that will shape principled, Christian leaders well into the future.”

Greg Bergquist, General Secretary, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, The United Methodist Church

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