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Just a note to readers then I'll open this for comments.... This year I'm writing a longer more serious column once a month (This month--"How the Internet is Changing Denominations") then the weeks between I'll write three shorter columns. I'm keeping the comments open all month on the major article and for a few weeks on the shorter ones for people who visit less frequently than every Tuesday.Thanks for coming by--and especially thanks to those of you who post comments--there are more than a thousand people a week reading your comments--so there are plenty of lurkers here to see what you add or subtract from my writing. Saying something without responses is suicide in the Internet age--so your responses "finish" my writing.
Keith, we've been using the 360-approach for the past six years, and it's been a fairly positive experience. We send a letter out with all the reviews and clarify what we expect of reviewers. I won't give you the exhaustive list (it's about ten things), but the top three are 1) no writing until you've prayed about what you're going to say for at least a 24-hour period, 2) no hit-and-run comments without explanation, or I (or my LBA) will follow up personally, and 3) a STRONG reminder to speak the truth in love.We've had very good success with this for six years, and I've only had to follow up on two hit and run comments in six years with multiple staff. Though the 360 can be difficult, overall it's been a rewarding, growing process for us.
Ken,I see that the 360 approach has worked but I believe the reason why it has worked so well is because of the ground rules that you all agreed to lay down before you give your critiques. I am wondering if this has been used in the past 6 years in your church or if you were refering to the faculty in the religion department? I am thinking this would be great for the religion department but much harder to do in a local church where people are not always committed to do those things you all do. I feel that there are many times people who just don't like how the pastor is doing things and want to get them out, i don't know maybe those days are gone but your insight would be very helpful. ~ Matt
Keith,I am a strong believer in the philosophy espoused by Donald Clifton and Marcus Buckingham. The basic idea is that we should focus more on our strengths than on our weaknesses.This was developed in the Gallup Organization and is the result of extensive research. They found that we can be much more effective by working on improving what we are already good at rather than trying to improve our weaknesses.Of course, there are all sorts of psychological ramifications as well.Interestingly enough, they found that people were the most effective when they were only somewhat aware of their weaknesses.This is not to say that weaknesses are unimportant. But the most effective way to deal with weaknesses are by working with a partner whose strengths compliment your weaknesses, by developing a system or strategy that keeps your weakness from becoming a serious liability and (most interesting of all) by making your strengths so "strong" that people are willing to "put up with" weaknesses because the overall package is so good. (The classic example is the absentminded professor.)Looking at this from a theological perspective, I think this is where we have gone wrong in the holiness church. We have focused on detachment from sin instead of focusing on attachment to God.Good post,Rod
Given the current situation at Asbury surviving a 360 degree evaluation there might well require Divine intervention or an insurection by faculty and students!
I'm curious whether 360 evaluations are usually conducted the way Greenway's was. The person evaluated suggests half the people interviewed. The evaluating committee suggests the other half. Then someone the evaluating committee hired or recruited does the interviewing and reports back. How does it usually work. The Asbury one seemed stacked--in other words their method could only serve as anecdotal evidence for one of our master's projects.
Do you think there is some approach a pastor/leader can take to ministry, in which he or she consistently seeks critique, feedback, and evaluation on a more regular basis so that the 360 isn't as shocking? Or does it take time for people to test their suspicions, or test a leader for his worth? I am only wondering how a leader's humility and transparency can lessen the blow she receives at evaluation.
My only fear would be, if someone else thinks that about me, does God think that way about me too??? Am I missing something here!
The above comment is so typical of a my own pastor(and maybe it IS him!) --My pastor is so bull-headed and refuses to hear any input..he is not "easily entreated" --actually he is not entreatable at all! His defense is always "All I care about is what GOD thinks of me" when he refuses to hear advice or suggestions. It is simply his own excuse to be arrogant and strong-headed and blame God for it.
Larry:Point well taken but obviously there was an unintended interpretation. I too have met many in church leadership with the same attitude.What I meant by the post was, Lord, am I overlooking something in myself or my life that someone else just pointed out that you are also not happy about.Hope that clarifies it for you!
I'm sorry Anon, I took that wrongly. (I guess I'm too sensitive to things when pastors appear to use the trump card of "I work for God" as an excuse to shut up their ears to their own people who have the Holy Spirit too. I musunderstood your comment--I apologize.
Excellent article Mr. Drury and welcome back--we missed you this summer!When I read this I couldn't help seeing the connection to what is going on right now at Asbury Seminary. I wondered if it was a coincidence until I saw one of the other links to your fellow professor and your own comments on his blog-=obviously it is timely, for Asbury and all of us. I too agree with Rod's idea that we improve more by strengthening our strengths than weakening our weaknesses. We think a "Strengthfinder approach" is better for staff reviews than a "correction approach."
JustKara:Interesting thought, "weakening our weakness". I believe that traditonal holiness teaching has led to this very situation.Gentleness does not appear to be the norm amongst some sectors of the holiness or conservative traditions even though leaders are called to be gentle and we are admonished to deal with others in gentleness.Because the focus has been on the eradication of sin and that at any cost, making the weak weaker does not matter. We got lost in our goal (to eradicate sin) and forgot our purpose (to make disciples in love and gentleness).Personally, I've always found wounds given by a friend in gentleness to be healing and helpful for growth. But I've also found much wisdom, both good and bad, from those who are sharply critical and at times nasty as well. Although my growth from those folks is often much slower, achieved in rebellion and hate, and usually always etched in my mind, I still grew! (I guess if you want someone to remember you, this is the way to accomplish it!)For those working in a non-religious environment with peer reviews, critical comments are a given with no boundaries for making them. Only the church is that "controlling". Maybe if the church took off its kid gloves and functioned as a normal environment, negative comments would become an accepted part of life like they are elsewhere, would be given/received w/out tension, and that the perception that negative comments, other than those pastor offers in his sermons, cannot be Scriptural. You see, I believe Jesus never told the Pharisees in a loud, in-your-face, provocative way that they were white-washed tombs, that they were cleaning the outside of their plates and not the inside, and the like. No, I believe when Jesus talked to them that way, that it broke His heart to have to tell them just like it broke His heart to have to see the men of the law dragging the woman caught in adultery before Him demanding to know if He was going to stone her. Why would a man, who knew He was going to willingly die for those very folks, treat them that way? (Maybe that is the problem, we know we don't have to die for these folks!)You know it says that folks have to sin to know sin. Some folks never know what is in their heart until it flies from their lips or their pens.On the other hand, some pastors, because they lack a variety of social interactions, seldom grow personally. Granted, many become very smart, well educated and are often good leaders but are they humble, friendly, able to have a fulfilling conversations with others not on their level, responsive and accepting of those not like them, able to accept criticism, able to talk about something other than theology or the Bible, etc. You know, mature parents listen to the critical comments of their children (which are not always given nicely and which often hurt to the core of their beings) and evaluate them to see if there needs to be a change in their parental behavior. Paul talks about his son in the Lord and pastors are taught to treat their charges as nurses in charge if children. Maybe if such evaluations were not given/completed/designed as performance evaluations but were designed/completed with a more purposeful intent like that of Christ, it would take the sting out of the process. Christ was never performance driven, he was purpose and method driven.Holiness/conservatism, by tradition, has always been performance driven! My question is, has the holiness/conservative tradition missed the boat????
It seems to me that if we really want to live in "authentic community" we will be open to critique when it is offered in love and toward a good end. Pastors need this sort of feedback from their parish, if they do not recieve it, how will they move forward with Christ. Radical individualism tells me to blow off the critique of others around me. But if Wesley was right, that there is not holiness without social holiness, than we all need to recieve "healthy feedback" like this. Of course, when "critique" is not "healthy"... when it is is a negative biting criticism that isn't intended to heal but to wound... it misses this divine purpose.Personally, it's a little frightening to think of asking my church to fill out a 360 evaluation on their pastor... but then again, I think I need it! Having said that, I Pastor Rod made a good point when he wrote:"This is where we have gone wrong in the holiness church. We have focused on detachment from sin instead of focusing on attachment to God."
So that's what it's called. Based on my experience, pastors get that kind of eval nearly every week--comments at the sanctuary door, phone calls to the parsonage, "feedback" sent via the church secretary, and the occasional anonymous note.It's good to know there's a nice business-savvy term for it ;-)Seriously ... are you saying that people in other vocations don't get that kind of here's-how-to-do-your-job feedback from everyone around them all the time?
Having entered the ministry after several decades in business I am shocked at how resistant my fellow ministers are to evaluation that was considered normal in the business world. My District Superintendent got all huffy when our DBA suggested a full evaluation. Does he not think he can improve? Why do ministers (I should say WE ministers now) resist evaluation from others? Do we all think we have such a big pipeline to God Himself that we need no prompting from our brothers? Are our egos so fragile that we can't handle correction? Do we think we have "arrived" already? Do we not know hoe to throw out the extremes and take the good? I don't get it.
Larry:If that is the case, the pastor is either fueling or causing the problem. Either way, he/she is responsible to God and his/her charges to deal honestly with it. Not ignore it and not talk about it with others. They are obligated, according to the word of God, to deal with it. If they are incapable, they don't belong in the position.Further, if pastors only realized that folks are told every day what they do is not good enough and how to do it better. Then, when they show up for church, they are told they are not good enough for God or the church leadership and need to improve there as well.So, give me a break!!! Maybe pastors need to job swap for a week to get a taste of real life.
Pastor Fred:Keep in mind, extreme to someone living in an extreme mindset is filtered as normal and therefore, they will be unable to distinguish a difference.
I hope the many pastors who read this do not think we laymen do not respect and admire them. We do. And every week most of us hear God speak through your messages and life. We love you dearly Pastors.However, the thought is worth considering Pastors--as a group you tend to be more sensitive to evaluation than most other groups. The hint here in the comments (and in the original article by Drury) is that pastors could be a bit more open to forms of evaluation as a means of the Lord speaking through others to help them improve. Certainly every pastor here has listened to his wife in this way hasn't he? As for a formal "360 degree evaluation" maybe if pastors were more intentional at gathering feedback from the WHOLE congregation the mean and destrictive minority who snip at him would be marginalized. I think maybe one reason pastors do not invite feedback on their performance is they get the worst static after sermons, and at the door (as Larry said above) and assume that if they INVITED feedback it would all be this bad. Actually, they would probably be able to dismiss this 5% of the people if they had solid written evaluation from everybody.At least that's what I think.
Viamediahaze/Matt/Keith/All,I wrote early this week, and got a question about whether what I wrote worked in the church or in the religion department. Maybe someone thought I was a different Ken, but I'm a pastor in a local church and that's where it's working for me.Matt/Viamediahaze is right; sometimes people in the local church don't behave, but often they do. And we've had good success with the 360 evaluation because we lay clear ground rules, follow up when people dishonor them, and treat the 360 as an encouragement tool to get better at the task of spiritual leadership.The materials we use have been customized, but much of what we use was recommended by Dr. Dan Reiland through his "Pastor's Coach" materials. I don't know Dan personally, but his materials are top-shelf and have been incredibly helpful to us as we develop our ministry leadership teams.There's no perfect process, but having any process is better than not having one at all.-Ken DePeal, Allendale Wesleyan, MI
I loved this. A definite keeper to whip out later! You are so good at these checklist-for-the-file.jld
Keith: Sorry to have to use this webpage for this....but as you know, I am a victim of pastoral abuse in the Wesleyan Church. What I have to say is important because it again stems from the holiness believers. I have spent two days with a persistent beeping in my home (this is not the first time)because I have chosen not to embrace again the holiness theology/lifestyle of the Wesleyan and other holiness congregations.I tell you this because it has created such an unGodly rage in my heart that could easily, if allowed, destroy others. And, this rage did not exist prior to the activity.I believe that is significant because such tactics by conservative religions to force obedience can cause terrorist and dangerous situation. Let me ask you, where is the freedom of religion preached by the church and America??? Where is the freedom of choice to be holy???I guess abuse by leaders in the holiness tradition doesn't just have to be sexual, does it???? You indulge in other types of abuse you deem appropriate to force group consensus and obedience.Forced holiness by definition afterall is not holiness at all!
I think we all need to pray for this person above... that they will heal and very soon get counseling. I've seen hurting pastors like this before that were absued by laymen and their end is never pretty without some intervention. I hope somebody who knows this pastor gets him into counseling before he blows up.
Counseling is unnecessary! For the record, I have accepted counseling!The ban on abuse is very necessary!
Ken DePeal (&Viamediahaze/Matt/etc.)I knew you were Ken-the-pastor, not Ken-the-professor. I DO know Dan Reiland (for maybe 20 years) and his pastor’s coach stuff is exceptional… it is precisely the sort of resources that help a pastor get stronger while not being devastated in a review. Someone above said that pastors might actually “short circuit” many negative comments with a broader review—I agree with that. Damming up feedback inflates the complainer’s comments. For instance when a lay person finds out there are five others think the music is too loud they start talking like the whole church thinks exactly like them—when actually a broad and formal (publicly released on paper) feedback report may show that it is not the loud music but the loud mouths that are the problem ;-) When complainers discover they are in the 10% category they fall strangely silent and sullen.As to using 360 degree feedbacks in education I can answer (for the other “Ken” & myself). At my educational institution there is constant evaluation so we get it OK. While this is probably boring for most readers I’ll outline it: Students complete every year (every semester for new professors) a details anonymous evaluation rating the professor in a dozen areas with invited individual comments like “most boring professor I ever had.” These reviews go to the dean and head of division and to the professor. The report compares us to all other professor’s “rating numbers” in our division, in our school and in the nation (it is a nationally normed test). The division chair and dean sit in on classes every time we are up for contract renewal (or promotion) and takes copious notes on what we did well and what can be improved—this issues in a written evaluation. As for peers in the 360, that’s where we’re weak. While any “promotion” required peers to sit in and review a teacher, and any progress requires letters of recommendation from peers, only this year have they started an ongoing peer review of teaching…and it is still voluntary. That part has to be improved, for we maybe can learn more about teaching from a real-live teacher than from students or supervisors.I probably ought to mention IWU’s adult program (where my wife is dean). Their ongoing review system makes our traditional one look like a smokescreen. In their program students review every COURSE with detailed comments that go to supervisors and the professor, and many of the adult professors end every CLASS by drawing a line down the middle of a flipchart then asking two questions: “What was good about this class?” What could be improved?” That creates for them a constant spirit of teamwork between professors and students to improve the total experience. Since church works is mostly with adults it could be that the adult model of APS is closer to the model—but I can’t imagine ending every service with evaluation instead of an altar call ;-)Whatever, 360 degree (or at least 300 degree) evaluation occurs in education too. Some professors hate it with a passion. They say, ‘What do these kids know?” they complain, “All they want is easy professors (results do not show this—indeed they tend to rate the hard professors higher). So I as a professor do have to “go though” some evaluation so my article on 360 degree evaluation is not an ivory tower theory I don’t have to live through myself. Indeed, for what its worth, the categories I used in this article are the exact categories I used every semester when it occurred to me (in light of the current ATS crisis) that it might be usable for others.ONE MORE THING… what professors hate worse than the school-sponsored evaluations are the free lance ones we live with every day on line. Though everybody knows these are usually anonymous and they are often cruel, STILL whenever a prospective professor applies for a job their history is checked… and Deans and administrators secretly look at the pages. Though they “discount” the harshest criticism they still believe there is generally a lot of truth in them. For instance those in my school have to live with the public and continual reviews posted online at ratemyprofessors.com... paste this in to see what everyone can read about us: (forever) http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/SelectTeacher.jsp?sid=447
Hey, maybe they need to do a www.ratemypastor.com!
By the way, now that I'm experiencing additonal abuse at the hands of holiness religious leaders, if I had it to do again, rather than mercy, grace and forgiveness, I would offer a lawsuit.My recommendation to any in other denominations and from the catholic church is not to work with church leadership, go the full legal route!
Keith,You've got some good numbers there at ratemyprofessors.com. But what's with the zero "Hotness Total"? :-)Rod
I've been reacting negatively to some of the comments about evaluating pastors. And I just figured out why.We already run the church too much like a business. We are borrowing a business paradigm for evaluation and applying it to the church.Pastors need accountability. But I wonder if performance evaluations should play a role in this.I think this statement by Mike Yaconelli expresses it pretty well:We don’t want ministers anymore, we want CEOs. We don’t want prophets, we want politicians. We don’t want godliness, we want experience. We don’t want spirituality, we want efficiency. We don’t want humility, we want charisma. We don’t want godly authority, we want relational skill. As a result, we have thousands of churches in this country whose ministers are very qualified to do what the Church has asked of them, but the one thing that hasn’t been asked of them is to love Jesus. So they don’t. And neither do their people.Rod
Good thought Rod... maybe somebody needs to create a 360 feedback evaluation for pastors on loving Jesus (and others). For, without feedback how would a pastor know he is loving Jesus and other well? (or would he just measure himself internally?) I'm afraid even getting feedback on loving Jesus and others would terrify many apstors... but I'm still not clear why. Why is it that pastors so resist feedback from others? Do they feel somhow exempt form the body of Christ speaking to their "part?" Or is in some way the Bible good for instruction, correction, and rebuke of the layman but never for the minister? I don't get it with you pastors. Welove you but you seem so sensitive and beyond evaluation by the rest of the body--as if the "head" deals direct with you.Yet we love you still.
Wow, good points! I can bet that the Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike are very thankful that there were no 360 feedback evaluations in the desert. Can you imagine if they had polled the children of Israel on their satisfaction with Moses, where the Jews would be today! For that matter, where would we be today???
Having lived for another day with persistent beepings in my home until past 1 a.m. in the morning, I have come to realize that holiness in the terms taught by churches like the Wesleyan Church and the Time Square Church is of the devil. A holiness that allows you to bypass the laws of respect established by God, is not holiness.That said, I'm praying and expected a swift judgment from the hand of God against holiness leadership in the future.The fallacy of holiness folk is that they believe that the ends justify the means at any cost, if done in love. That means, I love you so much that I want you to be obedient, therefore I am allowed to put you and water, hold you under until you almost drown to make you holy.Oh God, where did the holiness church lose its way???
Oh God, pls remove the candlestick from the holiness churches in Amercia. Give them over to the devil in order to reclaim them. No longer allow the misuse of your word and ways to taint what true holiness really is.Oh God, remove, at all costs, the false prophets profiting from your word.
Just a reminder for us all to stay on topic... I don’t like to delete posts or move them, so everybody needs to help us all stick with the topic of how a pastor (or other leader) can deal with a 360 degree review. Let's put general posts in the place made especially for those if we can... thus saving me the work of moving them. Thanks –KeithThe general posts go here:http://keithdrury.blogspot.com/2006/04/general-comments-here.html
Thanks for posting this "360 Survival Guide." It is so needed.As you know, I have used this in a class I teach for IWU called "Power, Change & Conflict Management" because each of those students are required to do a 360 during the course. I have 24 students who have just received their results back, in fact, so this is especially timely.I am referring those students to engage in this discussion regarding 360 degree evaluation as well as the very applicable Asbury situation, which is basically a real-life lab for our subject matter.Thanks... seriously!-David
By the way, as my students receive their 360 results back, I post the following to help, beyond your survival guide, for them to consider:Creating a Culture of Encouragement and CritiqueReceiving 360-degree feedback can often times be a disconcerting process. Here are a few pointers beyond the file you’ve already reviewed on processing feedback in the course materials:1) ESTABLISH A CYCLE OF FEEDBACK. In the long run, it is best to do some kind of feedback process on a yearly basis—often surveying the same people. This is easiest to do in a larger staff, because it can be systematized and required. However, we can all achieve some sense of a “cycle of feedback.” Often times people are most harsh with their feedback the first time they are asked for it. This is because “feedback logjam” occurs: people have private opinions about us that come rushing out once we ask for their private opinions. The second and third time they are asked they feel a greater sense of ownership with your development and often tone down their feedback and are more encouraging of positive changes they see.2) LOOK FOR VERBAL FEEDBACK OPPORTUNITIES. Written and anonymous feedback is essential, but asking for feedback on little events and performances is helpful to creating a sense of openness to the opinions of others. Often times you may desire feedback from people but until you ask for it they don’t feel as though they can share it. In fact, you often times must ask verbally 3 or 4 times before they actually give you negative verbal feedback.3) BOTH ENCOURAGEMENT AND CRITIQUE SHOULD CO-EXIST. One might think that the culture of an office will be one of two extremes: mostly encouragement or mostly critique. A mostly positive or a mostly negative environment. However, in reality the more we encourage one another the more of a platform and “earned trust” we have to give constructive critique to each other. Those you encourage you the most have a lot of “change in the bank” to make a comment that might help you improve, because they and you know that they aren’t being just mean—they desire to make you better. Likewise, the more we give constructive critique to one another the more our encouragement actually means something. The encouragement is not taken as vapid people pleasing, but as true praise from an attentive critic. These two should co-exist in a healthy work and ministry environment.
Mr. Drury, I am one of the students mentioned above. I am currently taking a Power, Change, and Conflict Management course at IWU. The course thus far has been most applicable and enlightening. First and foremost, I want to thank you and everyone else for the postings concerning 360 feedback. I did receive my feedback recently. Nothing in it surprised me. However, several things that I thought and really did not want to come to terms with were confirmed. What has surprised me is how much this feedback has affected me. It has actually stirred within me an urgency to change and improve in a couple of areas. Also, many act like feedback automatically entails the negative; however, in my feedback, I found several points of sincere encouragement as well. However, there are two things I struggle with concerning 360 feedback. First, should one ever even be in a position to have to administer 360 feedback? It would seem that proper communication within relationships among each other and with Christ would negate a need for solicited feedback. Such feedback would then be freely offered in love for edification and encouragement. This is ideal, I know. But I struggle with it. Second, do we place too much emphasis upon feedback? Is there not a time when we should ignore the feedback we get, even if it comes from noted sources? There seems to be several Scriptural examples of this, including Noah, Moses, Jesus, Paul, etc. I must admit, I really have nothing further to contribute with regard to 360 feedback. I am a Southern Baptist by heritage and an alumnus twice over of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville; therefore, I have not really kept up with Asbury. And as for my own personal 360 feedback, I am still in the processing stage. By using several dear and respected friends, the Lord has given me much to consider with regard to conforming to the image of his Son. Thank you for this site, Sir. And Blessings.
Above it states, "Based on my experience, pastors get that kind of eval nearly every week--comments at the sanctuary door, phone calls to the parsonage, "feedback" sent via the church secretary, and the occasional anonymous note. It's good to know there's a nice business-savvy term for it ;-)" This naive thinking would humor me if it were not so sad. Let us look at working environments for a moment.First, pastors usually produce 2-3 deliverables per week, sometimes more, if there are business meetings and the like. Depending on the work environment, employees produce that many or usually more deliverable per week, day, and sometimes hour. Based on statistics, the opportunity for feedback is much greater for others, and if evaluated, I'm sure you would find that the number of comments received, both snide and kind, are increased in the "real" world.Second, the writer noted, "comments at the sanctuary door, phone calls to the parsonage, "feedback" sent via the church secretary, and the occasional anonymous note." Who in the "real world" has not had a boss catch you in the hall in front of others and tell you to fix a project, note a deficiency, etc. Who in the real world has not had a boss call you at home in the evening and tell you the work you did was not good enough and be there early the next day or come back that night to fix a project to their satisfaction? Who has not arrived at work one day to receive a flaming note from a boss regarding a project or missed deadline? Who has not heard a boss' critique of their work, lifestyle, mannerisms and the like from the secretary or another co-worker? Who has not heard comments through the grapevine about others or themselves???? Who, in the real world, has never received a written appraisal in it with something that shocked them???Finally, the writer notes, "It's good to know there's a nice business-savvy term for it ;-)". My friend, the nice business-savvy term for it is called reality and most folks live there!
Dr. Drury, I am also a student in Power, Change, and Conflict Management course at IWU online Grad program. I am a Wesleyan pastor. It has been challenging and very good as we are learning to apply what we are learning to our current context.One of our assignments was to perform a 360 degree evaluation. I have to admit it is difficult to hear what people you love and respect say about your leadership performance and where it needs improvement. However, once I realized these were comments that would potentially improve my ability to lead better! I couldn’t take these comments as “stabs” or accusations; they were critiques that will benefit not only me but our church as a whole. I want to make a difference for the Kingdom. If I am lacking in some areas, I do not want people patting me on the back and telling me I am doing great when I am not! That helps no one!Rick HaworthMentone Alamaba
Hi Dr. Keith, here's a thought...If a pastor was candidating at a new church, could the interviewing church request a 360 from the church he is leaving? This could be nasty! I think it could be done objectively and it would give the new church a CAT Scan of what they are getting for a leader. Also, the anonymity of a 360 makes me a little leary. Yeah, my age group is supposed to be more transparent than the builders and some of the busters, but I was also taught to throw out anything that is unsigned. Thanks for your writings, Tim
I just arrived at this site late. I too hate to be evaluated, especially in print and anonymously. However I think it is because I was raised a holiness-perfectionist. In the church where I was raised a holy person had no room for improvement. I hav taken that false docrine and applied it to my own leadership I fear--thinking that the areas where I have room for improvement are "sin" and thus bad. I need to apply currently modified holiness doctrine now to my leadership--to be perfect is to be fully committted and devoted to becoming perfect. With that leadership doctrine I can accept evaluation and correction since anything that helps me move from what I am toward what I want to be is a wholesome thing.
james said... very good article. i'm in davids class on conflict and change at IWU. 360 degree reviews can be so much fun and can be so scary. I often feel as though it can seem like a mafia attack. You never know exactly where your friends are. it scares me to find out what people really think. It makes me wonder why they won't just come to me and tell me. anyway, I'll pray for the president as asbury that he makes it out alive. james
As I read through this again, I am surprised that so many pasotrs who are leaders feel this way about being evaluated! Maybe I live in a dream world or something, and at first I was fearful of what might be told. That being said, I did expect to get some kudos but recieved none! But the critique wasn't as bad as I thought either.For our class we did this anonymously, and we were to send them to people who knew us pretty well. I guess I maight be singing another tune if my feedback had been worse???I have also went through a time of training with Dr. Dan and it is awesome! He'll stretch you if you'll allow it. I agree his stuff is very good!
Keep in mind, the same people live in the church that live in the real world and those people give performance evaluations every day. Few, and I mean very few, managers in the real world ever give Kudos in a performance evaluation, especially christians. That is, unless they write their own!In fact, I personally prefer not to work for christians because so many tend to be internally focused and are never happy with anything anyone else ever produces/does -- it can always be done better and of course if you let them do it, it will be perfect on the first try!Look at Paul for a minute. So many in the church today worship at the management style of Pastor Paul in the NT. Now this is a man that knew it all and yet he seldom offered Kudos to anyone. In fact, if you read his letters closely there is little on a positive note that he sends to his charges. And, since he is considered the leader of the church by many and a Biblical writer as well, how could his ways ever be improved. Afterall, he ranks as high, if not higher, than Jesus. Jesus only came to die. Paul came to lead!
Keith,I am presently taking a masters class at IWU "Power, Change, and Conflict Management" and we are working on 360 degree evaluation. I recently after 22 years of pastoral service in the Wesleyan church, got my first extended call. It turned out that only one person voted against the change, but there was a fear that it would be a close vote. The part that people didn't get early on was that the extended call provides for a lot more productive evaluation than just a vote. However I'm not sure that the evaluation is realy a 360 degree evaluation. It is usually limited to just the Local board of adminstration, I believe this to be a potential problem. Perhaps there needs to be an expansion of this evaluation process, not only for the pastor.Glenn
On the Kudos, Maybe I need to clairfy that a bit more. I was really stating that I was expecting the Kudos and shouldn't have! If the people that helped me with the 360 Survey hadn't told what they honestly thought, why do it? I disagree with your opinion of Christians in the work force and how they are ALL internally focused? It seems to me that you are assuming that all Christians are that way! Not true. I worked in the secular world for over thirty years and well, lets just say I didn't have the same experience as you.I think that Christians tend to be too generous, instead of critical. Thus if we (Christians) are guilty of that we cause the 360 Eval to fail. It is my contention that Christians tend to give a generous evaluation so not to hurt a persons feelings or discourage others.
I just ran across this at the Center for Parish Development Web site--www.missionalchurch.orgIt's one of the essays that they have for sale.------Performance Evaluation: An Experience of Hell or a Taste of the Kingdom. A short essay, originally published in Transformation, contrasts judgmental appraisal methods of evaluating clergy and other church leaders with analytical methods that not only improve performance but raise morale, trust, and strengthen relationships.------This is an excellent site for "missional" resources. They do have essays that you can download for free.Rod
Dr. Drury,I believe that the 360 degree feedback method is a great way for obtaining feedback prior to an impending dismissal. The person being evaluated will learn to be more effective as a leader by using the results to correctively employ or enact techniques that will improve the person’s overall quality of leadership within their ministerial or organizational contexts. If we would take the time to improve using this method, we will no-doubt be better leaders. I have undergone this through an IWU class assignment, and have found it both painful and helpful. The key is to not take the criticism destructively, but constructively. God Bless!
Dr. Drury,I think it's best if a pastor himself initiate the 360 processes. By doing so, he can proactively seek to be benefit by it.If he was in the receiving end of it, then he might not be ready for it at all.There's a delicate balance of any kind of performance review. On the one hand we want to ultimately be God's pleaser, on the other hand we also want to be effective with people.
I found your blog by accident but I am glad I did. I was a corporate trainer for 15 years and I have seen the 360 feedback loop totally transform companies. I do not have time to read all the comments here but here is my two cents from experience: When a leader knows he/she is going to be evaluated like that, they will make necessary changes like taking time to listen more, getting input from employees, etc.Even though it may not be a 'heart' change, it is still a good change. Hey, we all know there are going to be someone who uses it to be nasty. That is expected. But if your feedback is mostly negative, you have some work to do.
Having used 360 evaluations for years in business, I am now in the position of needing to do performance evaluations for my ministry team. Having only seen the positives in business, but percieving problems, but not being able to identify them in ministy this article was spot on. Of course, now its the tough part, tweaking the process to fit the ministry domain.
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