In 1 Timothy 4:6-16, the apostle Paul tells his protege Timothy that he is to exhibit growth in four key areas of life and ministry. He is to grow in his Content, or his knowledge of the Bible and theology (6-10); his Character (11-12); his Competence, or ministry skills (13); and his Call, or his understanding of his spiritual gifts and the task God has given him (14). In verse 15, Paul states, “Practice these things, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.” (ESV)
As Paul indicates, a minister’s growth should be tangible, measurable, and visible. As uncomfortable and awkward as it may be at times, we need to ask and allow people to comment on those four areas of our lives.
At my church, United Evangelical Free Church in Seattle, WA, we conduct staff performance reviews each year in February. For the past few years, I have used the “Program staff evaluation form” to evaluate both myself and the pastoral staff. The tool was developed by my friend Tim Jack at Crossroads Bible Church. It is a self-evaluation tool where the individual comments on their own growth and then meets with their supervisor to go over the results.
I adapted the form to our setting and divided the evaluation into four sections. Section one deals with activities which are expected of all staff members. Section two is tailored to the individual’s job description. (For illustrative purposes, I included mine as Senior Pastor.) Section three refers to the purpose and goals of the church and to what degree each staff member is helping the church reach that purpose and goals. (To illustrate, I included the purpose and goals of my church.) Section four reviews the one-year and five-year goals set by the individual staff member at their last review.
This year, I am taking my own evaluation a step further. Far too often, my self-evaluation is either too critical or too lenient. To gain a more accurate assessment of where I am in the development of my character and skills, I am asking the leaders of the church to perform a broader and deeper review. I am sending a “Constructive Performance Review” to all those who hold a leadership office in the church and asking them to participate in this process. This form is adapted from one used by Pastor Norm Schwab at the Yacolt Evangelical Free Church in Yacolt, WA. (Note: In June 2009, Norm became the Senior Pastor at Northview Bible Church in Spokane, WA.) The results will be tabulated by our office manager and then the chairman of the elders will go over the results with me.
The constructive review is divided into three parts. Part one relates to ministry functions. Part two assesses character development. Part three contains four open-ended questions.