We are not a very formal organization at Grace Community Church. As our church and staff have grown, however, we have recognized the need for more structure. I wrote about that fact HERE and HERE. I try to keep an open door policy of leadership and frequently ask for input and try to provide feedback. I realize, however, that communication is one of the areas I continually need to improve upon, especially as our church grows larger.

In December, I introduced a more formal evaluation process for the people that report to me. My intent was not to fill out an official form for a company record. I understand the need for that at times, especially in disciplinary actions, but currently our staff is functioning well. We are working hard, practicing healthy teamwork, and accomplishing much. Someday we may be forced to a more “corporate” environment, but for today, the informality seems to work.

My goals with this year’s evaluations were to encourage the team, understand where we are going in each area of ministry, offer challenges and areas for improvement where needed and get feedback on the expectations for my role in each person’s success next year. I gave each person the questions I would be asking 10 days in advance and then allotted 2 hours for each person. I closed the meetings by sharing some of the things I am personally excited about in the new year.

Here are the questions:

  • Do you like your job?/Do you enjoy what you are doing?
  • What are your major objectives for next year?
  • Review major expenses for the coming year in your area.
  • Do you have the systems in place to accomplish the objectives you have set for your area?
  • What can I do to help?   How much do you need of my time this year?
  • What is missing from our structure to help you or the church continue to grow as a healthy church?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What questions do you have of me about the church…or about my current thought process?

I then told them I would be sharing individual encouragements and challenges about their area of ministry.

This is not at all a perfect system or one that I even recommend. It’s a start for us towards a more structured evaluation process, without becoming too formal.

How does your organization do it’s evaluation process? Would you prefer a more formal or more informal process?

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Ron Edmondson

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  • @davebaldwin says:

    Just another thought. Have you heard of Manager-Tools.com. This weekly podcast and website have helped me in immeasurable ways in being a better manager for my team. A couple of years ago I was reading a book on transformational leadership and the authors said that all good leaders have to have some managerial acumen. That got me looking at resources that develop that very underdeveloped part of me. Manager-Tools has all kinds of ideas and tips that will help the leader be a better manager also.

  • Pastor Ron, As a product of my Army Officer experience, I learned a simple and effective on-the-spot and monthly coaching format. The military still uses today and it's called an After Action Review (AAR). Most of us that transition from military officer to organizational leader use it today.

    1. Here is what you're doing great.
    2. Here is what we can improve upon together.
    3. Here are the action steps & (when appropriate the accountability measures and ramifications) we will take together to be at our mutually agreed upon level of success.
    4. 360 degree evaluation. Now have the person that you just coached (evaluated) conduct the same questions on you.

    When I was a Vice President of a Bio Tech company I would conduct this AAR every month with my team. I would document and place in file. It lasted maybe 20-30 minutes.

    Hope this helps.

  • @davebaldwin says:

    Good thoughts Ron. Thanks so much. We are a tad more formal in our evaluations. I still use non-number crunching ways of doing it. I do the following:

    –The direct report fills out a questionaire about their ministry year, with some personal future related questions as well.
    — I fill out the same form, sans the future related questions.
    — A peer on staff fills out a questionnaire re: the direct report.
    — A person who is a direct report of the person being evaluated is given a questionnaire to fill out as well.

    Since we use a vision driven approach to our budgeting year, we don't discuss budget issues during the evaluation time, but do that during the budget preparation process.

    I am always looking for better ways of doing things, so am open to any ideas you have Ron.

    Thanks once again.



    • ronedmondson says:

      I'm with you Dave. As a four year old organization in rapid growth mode, we need to learn all we can. I like what you are doing and realize I need more input from their end.

      Thanks Dave.

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