I’m not going to lie.
Evaluations can be intimidating. I believe this comes from the
notion that we might have to change something, and for some, a
paralyzing fear shows up when it comes to change. Why risk taking a
step forward if it only leads two steps back?
But that attitude only leads to decline and
loss. In his
new blog, Thom Schultz touches on this fear of change by
paralleling the film company Kodak’s downfall with some churches’
“A central reason Kodak chose not to pursue
digital photography in 1992 was the fear of cannibalizing their
lucrative sales of film. Kodak had become a hostage of its own
success, clinging to what worked in the past at the expense of
embracing the future. The same tendency befalls churches. A pastor
in our upcoming documentary, When God
Left the Building, said his church will not make any changes to
become more effective because someone will inevitably object and
get upset. ‘We abdicate every time,’ he said. ‘We just can’t lose
any more members.’ That congregation is already dead. They just
don’t know it.”
Evaluating your ministry is a must to continue
to grow and serve your community. Here are three steps to take if
you’ve never made an evaluation before.
1. Evaluate Your Past. A
great place to start is getting feedback right away. What was the
last event your ministry held? Get input from guests and volunteers
on how they felt the event went. If it’s been a while since your
last event, do a quick parent survey and get their thoughts on your
ministry. There are many free sample evaluation forms you can find
online to customize to your needs. Here’s one for parents to evaluate your Sunday
school. Whatever you do, just get some basic feedback to
2. Evaluate Your Present.
Once you have feedback, invite volunteers and parents to join you
in an evaluation party (the word party helps it sound more fun).
Debi Nixon shared some great tips about how to evaluate your
ministry in her article This
Is a Test! “Assessing the details of your ministry will help
guide your ministry as you seek to live out God’s calling to change
children’s lives for Christ,” says Debi. “A ministry of excellence
is clear on its ministry progress and is continually adapting,
changing, and growing to meet the spiritual, emotional, and social
needs of its children and families.”
3. Evaluate Your Future. A
builder will tell you that having a strong foundation is the single
most important element of a building.To have a strong ministry, we
also need a strong foundation. Or, in terms of evaluation, we need
to declare where we want to go with our ministry and evaluate if
we’re making the right steps in that direction. Start with a vision
statement. If you don’t have a vision statement, your ministry
likely feels meaningless to others-you can’t cast the vision or
share it with people as you would wish. Pray for vision, put it
into writing, and then walk the talk.
Now it’s time to put it all together. As you
look at the vision your team created, is what you have done and
what you are doing helping or hurting getting to that goal? Use the
SACK process to help figure this out-this is where the vision
statement really starts showing you which way to go.
S-Stop. What are things you should stop?
Things that are dated, don’t work well, or are too complicated, or
for which there’s another reason to stop. The first things you
might consider are items that didn’t fit with your mission in any
A-Add. What might you need to add? If your
vision statement involved families and you don’t have anything that
grows families, maybe you need to round out your ministry in this
area. You don’t have to decide exactly what to add at the
moment-just note that you want to add a family-growing element.
C-Change. Maybe you have something that you
like, but it’s time to update it. Perhaps your Sunday school
lessons are…boring…and you want to change and use a new (Group!)
curriculum instead. What are thingsthat should be changed before
K-Keep. You love it! You’re going to keep
This simple system will give you a great
evaluation of your ministry…where it was, where it is, and where it
How do you evaluate your ministry? Let us know
using the comment section below!