I love asking evaluation questions of church leaders. I work with a lot of churches in need of revitalization. Certainly, after the last two years that will be most churches that were planted prior to the pandemic. The days ahead will likely be different for churches that continue to grow.
So, recently a church leader asked me a great question. He said, “Ron, what are some questions we can be asking ourselves in this season to see if we are in the right position to move forward (in a healthy way) with our mission?”
So, I began to compile a list of questions. This is certainly not an exhaustive list. Feel free to share some of yours with me in the comments.
Evaluation questions church leaders might consider:
What systems, processes or traditions does the church hold more dearly than the people you are trying to reach?
(Now to test this, pick some you know need changing and see how the people respond.)
Which is more important to the most committed people – truly living our mission or trying to be comfortable?
(Watch to see what people complain about first and whether it has a missional focus.)
If we could return to “normal” was that even working?
(You likely have data that can answer this one.)
What will the people we are trying to reach need before they will even care about what they think we are “selling”?
(Forgive my marketplace experience terminology that is added here, but it does force you to think about real needs of people. Jesus frequently met physical needs first.)
Are we really “married to the mission more than the method”?
(Again, test it. To evaluate – how does the church respond when you tweak the method?
Do we value someone that connects and is disciples by the church if they never enter the doors of the church? What if they never contribute financially?
(This is a hard one, so I’ll expand a bit. It’s timely and relevant that we discuss it. Would online be enough for us if we could show ways it is working without ever attending? And, please understand, I believe in the Biblical mandate of corporate worship. Yet, there will some people more connected to our church online than people that previously only attended a few times a year were connected prior to Covid. How do we feel about that?)
If a person only displayed one of these, which would be valued higher – knowledge of theology or loving others well through the fruit of the Spirit?
(Again, this gets to the heart of what we value as a church. Do we only want “smarter Christians” or do we want people who live differently among the people in their neighborhoods and workplaces? How did Jesus say we would be known? Have the people in our churches – even some of the most Biblically knowledgeable – demonstrated those fruits during the pandemic?)
I realize there are certain nuances to each of these questions. Therefore, these are not intended to be cut and dry. You’ll need to adapt them to your context. They are intended to spur conversation.
If you think if I can help you or your team I would be happy to talk with you. You find more about my experience here: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronedmondson/