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hope for churches in stress


​For better or worse, your church is being evaluated every Sunday. On the way home, someone will ask, “What did you think of the sermon?” Or “How was children’s church?”

Since evaluation is already occurring spontaneously, the Refton (Pa.) BIC Church decided to initiate an annual church-wide evaluation so the whole congregation could benefit.

Church leaders developed "yardsticks" for measurement. They restated their purpose and vision. To assess effectiveness in community engagement, they described the church and surrounding community, noting similarities, differences, and points of connection.

As a next step, church leaders crafted a worksheet to help each ministry team reflect on its volunteer training, vision alignment, outreach initiatives, and goals. With care not to discourage volunteers, team leaders are to complete the worksheet each year.

Once feedback from the teams is collected and collated, and with the three measurement tools in mind, the governing board will use a simple numerical measure to evaluate whether each ministry is essential and effective. Ministries that score lowest will receive closer scrutiny. Should this ministry be phased out? Scaled back? Reshaped?

By this annual process, Refton BIC aims to set goals, align efforts, care well for volunteers, and focus their witness and service--for optimum health and mission.

In Ephesians 6:5–8 and Colossians 3:23–24, the apostle Paul teaches us to do our work well. To offer our best to God, it is helpful to find an encouraging, doable way for a local church to regularly ask: “How are we doing?”

Refton BIC evaluation worksheets and documents available on Drop Box.

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