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3 Ways to Evaluate Your Ministry

EvaluateI'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' attitude:

"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 start.

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 way.

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 moving forward?

K-Keep. You love it! You're going to keep it!

This simple system will give you a great evaluation of your ministry…where it was, where it is, and where it will be.

How do you evaluate your ministry? Let us know using the comment section below!

Posted at 14:24


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