Assessment Tools for Lay Ministry

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Congregations become "smarter" as systems as they develop feedback loops that enable the system to learn from its past successes and challenges. Here is a tool that you can use to improve your ministry as well as the experience of your volunteers.

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Sample Congregational Leadership Assessment Questions

Adapted from Jill M. Hudson’s 
When Better Isn’t Enough: Evaluation Tools for the 21st Century

Characteristic 1: The Ability to Maintain Personal Balance

  1. Is my service to the congregation within the number of hours of service agreed upon?
  2. Do I conduct myself in a professional manner when serving the church in an official capacity?
  3. Do I honor my status as a member of the congregation by participating fully in its life, not limiting my involvement to the areas in which I serve?
  4. Do I support my congregation financially at a stewardship level?
  5. Do I maintain a personal spiritual life, such as prayer, meditation and other devotional activities?

Characteristic 2: The Ability to Guide a Transformational Faith Experience

  1. Am I comfortable talking about my faith with others?
  2. an I direct someone exploring faith for the first time to the programs of my church that might be of assistance?
  3. Do I seek out new members of our church and find ways to make them feel included?

Characteristic 3: The Ability to Motivate and Develop a Congregation to be a Mission-Focused

  1. Am I aware of the specific population my congregation is trying to reach?
  2. How have I been hospitable and welcoming to visitors?
  3. Do I invite people to my church and encourage others to do so?
  4. How does my area of service help people to be more effective evangelists?

Characteristic 4: The Ability to Develop and Communicate a Vision

  1. Can I articulate the vision of our congregation?
  2. Do I have a vision for my area of volunteer work?
  3. Have I communicated this vision to other lay leaders?

Characteristic 5: The Ability to Interpret and Lead Change

  1. Do I seek the information I need to understand the rationale and steps for changes in my congregation?
  2. Can I interpret the rationale for change to others?

Characteristic 6: The Ability to Promote and Lead Spiritual Formation for Church Members

  1. Do I understand how my work furthers the spiritual development of members?
  2. Do I recognize the spiritual gifts of others and encourage them to serve in my congregation?
  3. Do I refer the names of those who may have gifts for service in the church to the appropriate person?

Characteristic 7: The Ability to Provide High-Quality, Relevant Worship Experiences

  1. Am I supportive of the variety of worship services offered in my church?
  2. Am I familiar enough with each service to make a recommendation to someone inquiring about worship opportunities?

Characteristic 8: The Ability to Identify, Develop, and Support Lay Leaders

  1. Whom have I nurtured into a new leader this year?
  2. In what ways have I sought out people from marginalized communities (people of color, youth, young adults) as potential leaders?
  3. How have I encouraged new members to use their gifts in the life of the congregation?
  4. In what specific ways did I support current leaders?
  5. How have I contributed to building a healthy congregation?
  6. Do I attend meetings in the areas of my responsibility?
  7. Do I comfortably ask questions of others, to better understand their work?
  8. Have I shared my hopes and dreams for the congregation in the coming year?

Characteristic 10: The Ability to Manage Conflict

  1. Do I understand my own conflict-management style?
  2. Do I understand my church's process for grievances?
  3. Do I share conflicts or tensions with my mentor or the person responsible for my area of service?
  4. Am I willing to ask for help in resolving a conflict?

Characteristic 11: The Ability to Navigate Successfully the World of Technology

  1. Am I proficient in basic computer skills?
  2. Do I understand the software programs that will help to serve the church’s mission?
  3. Can I use the Internet for research or communication related to my area of service?

Characteristic 12: The Ability and Desire to Be a Lifelong Learner

  1. Do I have learning goals for myself this year?
  2. Do I contribute to creating a learning community within the staff, leadership team, and congregation?
  3. What workshops or other programs have I attended that enhance the performance of my volunteer service?