Recently I had coffee with a fellow family ministry pastor and he shared about his recent staff evaluation. His lead pastor shared many great things that he was doing well and congratulated him on his hard work within the church. However, at the conclusion the lead pastor lacked to share anything that he needed to work on; needless to say this family pastor felt short changed. Evaluations are good when we are encouraged by the successes but when an evaluation identifies potential areas of growth we are more apt to grow in our leadership. As a ministry leader, here are four areas I regularly evaluate to ensure continual growth in myself and the ministry I lead:
- Evaluation of Your Time: How do you spend your time? Simple question but difficult to answer when you are not keeping track. Recently I read Effective Executive, and in the book the author encourages leaders to simply track their time to identify the distractions from the things we are meant or need to do. For instance if your ministry values relationships, then how much time every week do you actually invest in relational opportunities? Stop using the phrase “I never have time for…” keep track of what you do and in the end you will identify the distractions you need to remove to free yourself up for the important things you are called to do.
- The Evaluation of Your Team: Sometimes we become so focused on just getting Sunday to happen that we never step back and ask, “how can I improve my team?” If you want to move beyond simply finding warm bodies to fill empty time slots on Sundays then you need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your team. As you evaluate your team, encourage them with the strengths they have and leverage those strengths to solidify a better ministry team. When you identify weaknesses in your team that’s where you as a leader need to invest. A team that grows will improve and a team that stalls will crash.
- The Evaluation of Events: As a ministry your events can range from community outreach, Sunday services, camps, etc. It’s crucial to evaluate each event. The reasons for evaluation can outline the importance of the event to whether you must continue the event. For an organization, or in this case a ministry, to stay effective they must consistently look at their operation and the execution of their mission/purpose. Hold evaluations with the staff that help put on the event and even possibly with the people who participated in the event…the point is create a culmination of perspectives that help equip you for the next event.
- Evaluation of Your Goals: Currently we are looking a renovating our building and one of the elements that has become abundantly clear is the fact that 60 years ago our building was built with specific goals and for a specific type of ministry. 60 years later our goals are different and our ministry has new focus. Serving in a replanted church allowed me to realize that a church that does not regularly evaluate their goals is doomed to become stagnant.
How are you evaluating your performance as a ministry leader? What questions do you ask to identify and define the performance of your ministry? What fears do we have to take the extra step to evaluate the health of your leadership and ministry? Execution without evaluation will generate stagnation.