...to be continued...
Thursday, January 31, 2013
If I really want evaluation, I need to be ready to hear my weaknesses as well as my strengths. That can be painful, but helpful. “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:5, 6, NKJV).
A youth minister was told by an elder that he was doing a good job and was “right on target.” Within two weeks, during an elders’ meeting, he was told that his services were no longer needed. There was no explanation. Ultimate evaluation—firing—with no reason denies the person the opportunity to learn and to understand.
Even during those difficult times, where there is to be stern rebuke or a parting of the ways, it is good to speak truth in love. When the elders are firing the preacher or the preacher is firing the church, it is good to be truthful and kind.
Ephesians 4:29 is good advice: "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear" (ESV).
...to be continued...
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
The time to begin effective evaluation is in the beginning of the relationship. I have found it helpful to have this included in the contract-job description. For the last thirty years of my ministry, I had it in two places in the agreement. A general statement of evaluation: “The elders and preacher agree to be able to disagree as well as agree and to deal with each other honestly, openly, responsibly, and with respect. This will include regular evaluation of our relationship, giving both strong points and weak points that need improvement.” page 4, item # 1 of Preacher-Church Agreement A second statement of the desire for evaluation is found in the financial agreements: “A merit raise will be considered each year and discussed as to why it is being given or not given.” page 3, item # 5 of Preacher-Church Agreement I not only wanted monetary reward for my work but I also wanted to know what I was doing well and what needed to be improved.
My experience has been that the clause in the contract does not guarantee evaluation. In one congregation, the elders scheduled an annual evaluation on the anniversary of my work with them every year. In another congregation, I waited two weeks after the designated time and reminded them of our agreement and they did it. I am 100% responsible for communication. Part of the evaluation process is to remind the evaluators if they forget about the evaluation. It could also be interesting to evaluate why one or both parties are reluctant to evaluate.
When part of my job description was to supervise the secretary, the contract read: “The secretary agrees to relate to the staff in a healthy way: to be able to disagree as well as agree and to deal with others honestly, openly, responsibly, and with respect. This will include regular evaluation of our relationship, giving both strong points and weak points that need improvement.”
…to be continued...