There are very few measurements of how leadership in a church is meeting the challenges of life in the body of Christ. There are lots of questions in how those in responsibility are growing spiritually, how they see their ministry as a call, who is monitoring them, who are they encouraging. There are many questions and, it seems, very few answers.
The following survey – questionnaire was something I developed from those in leadership at a church I was ministering in. They were questions I asked of myself, of others and questions I had hoped others would ask me. The survey includes questions of one’s personal spiritual life, skills development, relationship with other leaders and a challenge to examine one’s call to ministry.
We often love questions in these areas and we seldom ask them. May this format be a prompt in the right direction. Note the original interview should be an open ended time lasting for an hour to an hour and a half. A core group of people should do the interviews so that they can gather and compare themes (members of church leadership confidentiality) and needs culled from the conversation. I have found that a mid-year 20 minute follow-up conversation works well. The conversations fit best in the mid-fall as people are reflecting on their New Year commitments and the follow-up chat in late spring as a check in. you’ll find your own rhythm for this material I’m sure.
Assessing Our Work Together
A Discussion paper on encouraging leaders and helping them to assess their calling to ministry
As a church that believes in the “priesthood of all believers”, we often don’t enquire after the personal well-being of those who serve us. Serving God and serving his people in the body of Christ is first and foremost an act of personal worship. We are offering our time, gifts, prayers, and abilities to God in gratitude and thanksgiving for what he has given us. To serve as leaders certain things must be in place and must be regularly reflected on so that those in leadership are not only serving in ministry but personally benefiting from individual spiritual renewal and growth as well.
Caring for one another is a biblical imperative.
The building-up of the church, “Christ’s Body”, is worked out by the spiritual deepening of individuals, in general, and leaders in particular.
Personal and corporate renewal in the church is a normative expectation of God’s people.
1.0 Timing: We should evaluate the work we do together in the time leading up to our annual meeting. This is the “end of the ministry year” and an ideal time to take stock, recommit to an activity, plan changes to a ministry, plan leadership succession, or plan to take a sabbatical, or explore better ministry opportunities.
A second or midterm assessment of the above is imperative. There is no more difficult time than feeling alone in the midst of a difficult task when you’re half-way through it.
2.0 To whom should the process apply?
It is already the responsibility of council to review the work of paid employees.
Others who might benefit from the process:
Sunday School Coordinators
Men’s and Women’s Breakfast Coordinators
Neighbourlink Contact Person
The Moderator, the chair of deacons and the minister should compile a list of those to be interviewed after each annual general meeting.
3.0 Personal Questions
3.1 How are you doing these days? (Yes, that general and open-ended…has someone experienced particular changes in their lives…health, relationships…)
3.2 How would you describe your relationship with God? “Is it well with your soul?” as the Mennonites would say?
3.3 Do you feel encouraged and supported by others in leadership…do people ask how you are doing? Do people pray for you? Do you ask them to?
Do you model the things you think are important for you by offering them to others … do you, for instance, inquire after others, pray for them, and follow-up personal concerns?
What are areas of strength and encouragement these days?
What areas need changing or encouragement?
What help do you need personally?
What new insights could you offer?
3.4 Where do you receive fellowship and support?
4.0 Ministry Questions
4.1 How would you describe your ministry?
4.2 What are you responsible to do?
4.3 who do you relate to?
4.4 who preceded you in your task?
4.5 Did they orient you adequately?
4.6 Strengths in your present work?
4.7 Needs or changes required in the work?
4.8 how long have you served in this way?
4.9 What renews you?
4.10 What new ideas and visions do you have for this task?
4.11 What resources do you need from others in the church to fulfill your ministry?
4.12 Would you like a mentor in any areas of your life and work?
4.13 Would you be available to mentor someone else?
4.14 Are you encouraging other to lead in your area of work?
5.0 Are there any other comments or concerns you would like to share:
This is a discussion paper and working draft. Add/delete, but please engage
Reflect on these questions yourself:
Who should conduct these discussions?
How should what is learned from these discussions be used?
What time frame are we looking at?
And I’m sure much more… let’s at least start a healthy affirming process.