Change is possible when people understand the availability of God’s power to reach goals established through staff evaluations and then tap into that power.
Paul had just made an assessment, of sorts, of the church at Thessalonica, when writing,
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thess. 1:11-12)
While his words did not grow out of a staff evaluation, there are some helpful points for us to remember when doing staff evaluations to keep goals for growth and change based on God’s power. Let’s break down the above verses:
“With this in mind” –
We find Paul’s assessment of the Thessalonians in the previous verses. They had believed the testimony about the Lord Jesus. Their faith was growing and also their love for one another. But, they were enduring persecution and trials and needed encouragement.
When doing staff evaluations, are you getting an accurate assessment of where people are and what their needs might be? If so, you will be at a place of being able to set goals together for the good that God would yet have them do in their ministry.
“we constantly pray for you” –
Paul knew God’s power was essential to the growth and fruition of their ministry and so he prayed for them. Notice that he didn’t pray casually or sporadically but constantly.
Do you really believe God’s power is essential to effective ministry? If so, you too will be praying for those with whom you are doing staff evaluations that they accomplish the goals for change — praying not just once, but regularly.
“that our God may make you worthy of his calling” –
In and of themselves the Thessalonians were not worthy to even be doing ministry. They did not measure up. They did not merit applause or affirmation. They were worthy only if GOD made them worthy.
Are you looking for God’s confirmation of the person you are evaluating in ministry? Are you making it clear that your approval is not what ultimately matters but rather what God thinks? If so, people will have a sense of accountability and motivation that goes beyond anything else you can say or do.
“and that by his power he may bring to fruition” –
Effective ministry is evidenced in the fruit that is born. We must remember Jesus’ words about how we are able to bear fruit (Jn. 15) by abiding in Him … getting our sustenance and strength from that which He provides.
Are you emphasizing the Real Source of effective ministry? Are you getting beyond a look at the tasks they are doing to their walk with the Lord? Are you helping them learn to abide in Him so they can bear fruit? If so, the potential for what can happen in and through this person is unlimited.
“your every desire for goodness” –
Notice it doesn’t say “your every act of goodness” but rather “your every desire for goodness.” Change must begin with a desire. Also, step back and remember who defines goodness — God. His power is that which must be relied upon to bring these objectives to fruition.
What are the goals both you and the person being evaluated want to see accomplished going forward as a result of the assessment? Do you believe they reflect the good God desires to bring about? If so, you have a starting point for change and growth.
“and your every deed prompted by faith” –
Desire must be combined with action. We must step out in faith, believing that God is able. Jesus told Peter that he first had to get out of the boat in order to walk on water. Elsewhere we also read, “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Phil. 2:12-13) The key to fruition is both the desire and deed “prompted by faith” not by good intentions or will power but rather by belief that God will accomplish it in you.
Are you taking time, during the staff evaluation, to determine actual, tangible steps a person can take, rather than merely stating what needs to change? Are you taking time to pray together about it? Are you continuing to pray for the person to trust God to help them bear even more fruit through their ministry? If so, you should both leave encouraged, with great anticipation of fruitful ministry to come.
“We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him” –
This was Paul’s motivation. It wasn’t about making him look good because of the accomplishments of the Thessalonians or even to applaud that church. Rather, the objective for them reaching their potential in Him was for the Lord’s glory.
Are you making sure that the people you are evaluating understand that the effect their ministry has on the Lord’s glory is what matters most? If so, it should affect the whole tone of the staff meeting.
“according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” –
Again, it wasn’t because the Thessalonians were more worthy of God’s power at work in and through them. Rather, it was because of God’s grace. Consequently, everyone stood on an equal plain — in need of His grace, doing what they do by His grace and according to His grace. Elsewhere Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Cor. 15:10
Do you have this kind of understanding when doing staff evaluations … that you are not superior to them, that anything that is accomplished to God’s glory by His power is according to His grace? If so, you will be in a better position to help people work through any issues because both they and you are in the same place in need of God’s grace.