Most denominations and congregations provide for a committee responsible for clergy support and evaluation. Both pastors and these committees often have misgivings about the clergy review processes of such groups. Clergy want good feedback to improve their ministries, but many have not experienced evaluation as a positive growth experience in the past. Lay leaders often come to the review process with hesitancy since they themselves have not functioned as pastors. The Lewis Center for Church Leadership offers four documents to help inform the review process and the work of these committees. The first outlines “Theological Foundations for Evaluation.” The second - “Types of Evaluation” - defines the purposes and steps of evaluation and helpfully differentiates between formative versus summative evaluation. “Giving and Receiving Feedback” provides guidance for asking for/receiving feedback and for giving feedback. “Effective and Ineffective Staff-Parish Relations Committees” suggests characteristics of effective and ineffective committees and defines what committees and clergy need from each other. Each document comes in two versions - one for United Methodist Churches and a second, ecumenical version. Be sure to check your denomination for similar resources specific to your tradition.
Reviewed by Sandra Herron