Church leaders may find ministry assessments quite beneficial to the growth and on-going health of the church. However, the assessment process sometimes comes with issues that can divide rather than fuse a church together. The solution? Always guard the Body Life of the Church. Make sure the use of assessments lines up with God’s design for the Body.
Remember these Principles to Help You Handle Problems & Guard Body Life When Doing Assessments
Sometimes assessments are the idea of just one leader. Others may not be on board. Not everybody agrees with the need for doing assessments. How do you handle defection?
Body Life Principle: God designed the Church to be interdependent. (1 Cor. 12:14-21)
How to Guard Body Life: Remember that your role as a leader isn’t about pushing your own agenda. It’s about following God’s purposes and design and doing it together. Perhaps an assessment is needed but pushing something on people when they don’t sense the same benefit can backfire. First work at helping people see the need. Get them involved early on in the process. Simply throwing an assessment their way that you developed with little or no input does little for “buy in” to the process. The idea of doing an assessment may not be wrong, just the timing. Take the time to lay the groundwork.
When doing assessments, you won’t always find people on the same page, doing ministry the same way or having the same opinion about how to do it. How do you handle differences?
Body Life Principle: Diversity makes us better when we let who we are in the Lord be our common identifying factor. (1 Cor. 12:4-7)
How to Guard Body Life: Allow for differences. Maintain perspective. Differences can actually bring us closer to where we should be when we take it all into consideration. Our objective in doing assessments isn’t to homogenize ministry but to learn from each other and grow. As long as people align with God’s Word, His purposes and character, we will head in the right direction regardless of methodology.
Tallying results of assessments may lead to negative conclusions. Not everybody may be doing their part, or doing it well. How do you handle deficiencies?
Body Life Principle: We must preserve the dignity of all. (1 Cor. 12:22-27)
How to Guard Body Life: Guard against belittling or condemning those who aren’t doing well. Seek to build up rather than tear down. Speak the truth but always in love. Exercise both grace and truth when sharing results of the assessment. And, certainly don’t single out individuals publicly.
Getting everybody on the same page of where to go with the results of an assessment can sometimes be challenging. How do you handle disagreements?
Body Life Principle: Everybody doesn’t have to agree with every conclusion but we do need to live in unity, always reconciled to one another, responding with love and maintaining peace and righteousness. (Rom. 14:12-20)
How to Guard Body Life: Learn to agree to disagree when necessary. It’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong but about getting on page with God. Table decisions until you are able to come together in prayer. Sometimes that will lead to a middle ground resolution but sometimes it will require someone laying aside their opinion for the good of the whole.