Prairie View

Sunday, April 06, 2014


A month or two ago I was given an evaluation form to fill out about the principal under whom I work.  I put off filling it out as long as possible, and finally gritted my teeth and did it.  I hated it.  He was doing fine, and why did I have to make a decision about whether he was stellar or just above average or average, or (gasp) slightly below average, or (groan) needs improvement?  I usually want to add caveats and qualifications to whatever I say, and those numbers from one to five don't allow for that.

Recently someone suggested, probably only half seriously, that maybe starting at the age of 70, every aging person should agree to have his or her family evaluate him or her on a yearly basis--on matters like driving and spending money and undertaking new ventures or continuing in old roles.  When I told Hiromi what I had heard, his prompt response was this:  "That would mean I'd have only one year and one month to do anything I wanted to do.  I'd better get busy doing what I want to do."

In the context of some of the recent revelations about Bill Gothard, Dwight Gingerich had made some comments on Facebook about the benefit of leaders being subject to periodic evaluations.  I quoted part of what he said in an earlier post.  At that time Dwight also sent me a copy of the evaluation form below and gave me permission to quote from it.  It was in use in the church he was part of at one time.  

From the church Constitution:

"A review of his [the lead pastor's] ministry shall be made each year by the elders and deacons, and every five years by the entire congregation."

"The pastor may be removed from office at a special business meeting of the congregation called by the elders and deacons in consultation with the overseer where reasons for his removal would be presented, The pastor should be notified of the charges to be brought against him before notice of the meeting is given to the congregation. At the meeting he shall be allowed to answer the accusations. A vote shall be taken, with a two-thirds majority required for removal. In case of embezzlement, immorality, teaching of false doctrine, termination shall be immediate."

A regional overseer (whose role is not alluded to here) has a 5-year term.  I assume that perhaps this is the person who would see the completed evaluation forms.

In the form copied below, I have removed the pastor's name and replaced it with a blank line.

Evaluation of Lead Pastor

You may indicate your answer to sections I to IV by circling a number from 1 to 5 (1--definitely needs improvement; 5--excellent):


A. Communicates the Bible clearly 1 2 3 4 5

B. Faithfully interprets the Scripture 1 2 3 4 5

C. Avoids petty subjects but endeavors to preach the full Gospel 1 2 3 4 5

D. Addresses pertinent issues 1 2 3 4 5


A. Sensitive to individual spiritual needs 1 2 3 4 5

B. Faithful in visitation 1 2 3 4 5

C. Available and helpful in crisis 1 2 3 4 5

D. Promotes spiritual growth; challenges individuals 1 2 3 4 5

E. Involves lay people in church activities 1 2 3 4 5


A. Attends well to business matters of the church 1 2 3 4 5

B. Keeps congregation informed of events, meetings, special events 1 2 3 4 5

C. Open to complaints; approachable 1 2 3 4 5

D. Participates in and encourages projects of compassion 1 2 3 4 5

E. Stimulates growth through vision and motivating others 1 2 3 4 5

F. Includes fellow ministers in decision making and public ministry 1 2 3 4 5


A. Handles conflicts and tensions well 1 2 3 4 5

B. Is flexible 1 2 3 4 5

C. Is approachable and friendly 1 2 3 4 5

D. Listens and is caring 1 2 3 4 5

E. Relates appropriately with the opposite sex 1 2 3 4 5

F. Manages his family well 1 2 3 4 5

A.    His travels take too much time away from his church ministry  ( YES;  NO )
B.    I feel like I (choose one:  KNOW;  DO NOT KNOW ) which other ministries _______ is involved in outside the church.
C. I would like to leave a short comment related to _____'s work outside the church:

A. What one thing do you wish _____ would do that he is not doing now?

B. What one thing do you wish _____ would stop doing that he does now?

C. What one thing does ______ do or not do that you feel he could improve?

VII.   How do you rate ________ as a pastor?

VII.  Are you a regular attendee and supporter of this church?  Yes_____;  No_____.

How long have you been attending this church? _____________

May we have your name (optional)?_______________________________________

Are you a member of the church?  Yes_____;  No_____.

In which age category are you?  (under 20)    (20-40)     (40 on up)

Additional Comments:


I remember my dad saying, decades ago, that he likes our system of church leadership for the most part, but he regrets that we don't have a very good way of dealing with situations where an ordained person's ministry is problematic for one reason or another.  I see regular evaluations as one possible method of filling the need when problems are present.  Also, I believe evaluations could serve as affirmations.

Despite my personal distaste for them, I believe evaluations are generally a good thing, and maybe more of us should be open to adopting them in our church organizations, or in our journey toward old age.


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