Need to know if you are on the right path? Need to know if the vision for your ministry is in line with the plans, vision, and mission with the church you serve? Need to join the conversation of informing yourself and others of where the Spirit is headed in your organization? Need to let the leadership know what in the world you’re doing and how long it takes to do it? Offer regular and periodic evaluations!
If you are not doing a job well, I’d hope you’d hear about it very early in the ‘running down that road’ process. But what if you don’t hear anything…neither encouraging nor critical?
What if you are in a constant state of evaluation, but your organization doesn’t offer a time for you to share the passion, dream, successes, and challenges across a table that got you the job in the first place? And who knows your goals? Your professional, your personal, your ministry goals? Do a regular self-evaluation!
There is something about putting such information on paper that offers accountability and gives clarity for a season, a ministry, an event. I so need this since I’m thinking about next Sunday, next year, and five years down the road all at the same time!
The idea behind self evaluation is that our judgment of what we think we are doing and what we actually are doing is not always the same. This is why it is so important to perform regular self evaluation. – Stanley C. Loewen, Health Guidance For Better Health
A colleague in my district children’s ministry networking group shared a list of five items she was being asked to respond to for this very purpose. With this list of questions we can easily and quickly put onto paper our response to offer focus, reflection, and even measure results. I do it every six months.
1. High points of your responsibilities
A job description outlines the bare minimums. A responsibility description outlines the much-less-cumbersome-to-outline responsibilities of the role one serves on the leadership team. Some responsibilities are seasonal. Some responsibilities have a greater impact on others on the team. This lets me outline a few of those things that are a priority and what I love which gives me energy and fosters the greatest creativity.
2. Three goals
Where do I want to see the ministry go this year? Though there is lots to do, what are the most important things to keep before my eyes, my heart, and my passions? These will offer clarity for what is actually in my bucket, the dogs in my hunt, and the runway on which to land my plane with deadlines.
“If all I do is tasks, I leave a ton of value on the table for creativity and initiation of doing things better.” – Seth Godin
3. How am I taking care of myself?
What do I have in place over the next six months to maintaining healthy boundaries? From my most recent self-eval: Check and set my weekly schedule, Emmaus Reunion group weekly meeting, Blog writing, Partnering with CEF, Children’s Ministry Connection, District KidMin Networking Teams by my attendance.
4. Who is on my ministry team?
Put onto paper 5-7 of the names of my inner circle, my go-tos, my champions, and who I can intentionally invest in over the next six months.
“Do for one what you wish you could do for everybody.” – Andy Stanley
5. What can my pastor do to help or empower me?
This keeps me realistic in my expectations, helpful to the whole team, and gives me the vocabulary to have courageous conversations with my team leader. When I meet with him/her I am not rambling for what I need this week and something different next week. It keeps me focused for a bit of dreaming without being a high-maintenance team member. It does the ministry no good to confuse my organizational team leader when it appears I am all willy-nilly in the needs of the ministry. I limit this to a list of only three items. One item is always something to pray for me.
“Self-evaluation and assessment should be a major part of our lives as believers.” Sunday Adelaja
Self-evaluation helps remind me of my why. It helps me see what is most important in the coming six months so I am not easily distracted by the busy stuff on the calendar. It offers evidence of meeting measurable goals. It gives clarity in how and what to best communicate to my team sold out for Jesus and little people. It lets me know who to invest in.
We certainly don’t serve the Lord for pats on the back, but everyone needs to know regularly they are doing a good or great job. If we know the importance of volunteer appreciation and practice it with words of affirmation, small tokens of appreciation, notes of encouragement, birthday celebrations, and the occasional afternoon tea at the local coffee house, wouldn’t we also wish to hear and experience these same practices as staff members? If you are not getting it, then prayerfully release the expectation of someone doing it for you. Take yourself to lunch and celebrate your ministry through self-evaluation!
“God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.” Psalm 46:5