The Middle Project

The Middle Project

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Spiritual Windsurfing: Exploring the Context for Evaluation

Congregations often face the challenge of wanting to conduct an evaluation but find they
are ill equipped for the task. It is usually the case that congregations are looking for the
“magic bullet” instrument or survey and have not taken time to examine some of the
deeper subtleties of the purpose and process for the evaluation nor the assumptions out of
which the evaluation is launched. There are dimensions of clergy evaluation that make
this process unique and distinct from techniques commonly found in the corporate world.
If this process is not approached thoughtfully, it can result in frustration, alienation or
conflict.

When considering the evaluation of the clergy leader and assessing the ministry of the
congregation, there are significant foundational issues to be explored. Calling, self knowledge
and the clergy and faith community’s prophetic role are central to shaping
identity. It is important that the lay leadership of the congregation understands these
issues and how they factor into the way clergy image and live out their role and it is
equally important that the clergy understand how these issues inform the congregation’s
sense of ministry. An exploration of these issues influences how the congregation and
the clergy frame the evaluation process and even helps in shaping of questions to be
asked. 

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