Staff evaluations need to take into account God’s description of the Church such as what we read in 1 Peter 2:5 and 9. These verses speak of the priesthood of all believers. We are all part of His “chosen people” who are “God’s special possession.” Anything we offer to God is only acceptable to Him “through Jesus Christ” not our own merit. These verses put us all on a level plain. Further, we are members of one another (Rom. 12:4-5; Eph. 4:25) each of us “like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:5).
- What this suggests is that we are all accountable to serve as His people … both paid and volunteer staff … leaders and non-leaders.
Consequently, if you are going to do staff evaluations, perhaps you should seriously consider doing them for everyone who serves. We all need help being the people God called us to be. Let’s not lower expectations simply because someone is volunteering their time as opposed to being financially remunerated. That isn’t God’s criteria. We are all to love the Lord with all of who we are (Matt. 22:37). We are all to give of our best to the Lord (1 Cor. 10:31). We are all to do what we do as unto the Lord, not people (Eph. 6:7). We are all to faithfully use our spiritual gifts (1 Pet. 4:10).
This also means that since God is the One who brings us together, the One whom we all serve and to whom we are all ultimately accountable, we should be making Him a part of this process. Let’s ask God to guide us and work in and through this evaluation.
Staff evaluations need to be governed by God’s design for the Church of interdependence and relating with one another which includes a mutual submission one to the other “out of reverence for Christ” (Eph. 5:21).
- What this suggests is that a relational quality needs to be experienced among God’s people that supersedes position and should infiltrate all we do.
Consequently, staff evaluations should provide for a two-way exchange. Obviously this would mean that an evaluation should be more than leaders telling the staff person their assessment. The leader should also listen as the person responds or shares concerns. But, it also could mean that both come under assessment. After reviewing the expectations for the person’s ministry, perhaps using their job descriptions as an objective standard, you might proceed by doing the following:
1) Both make observations about how the person is meeting these expectations. Part of this would include discussing how you believe God is using the person and then discussing any obstacles, barriers, or needs the person might be facing that is hindering peak performance.
2) Both make observations about how the church and ministry leaders are fulfilling their responsibilities to the person being evaluated. Discuss ways the church or leader can better support the person.
3) Together negotiate any changes in ministry responsibilities or perhaps even termination.
4) Agree upon goals for both the person being evaluated and the ministry leader.