Monday, September 3, 2018

Hey Fletch … Can you point me to resources Boards may use for setting up a system to evaluate the Senior Pastor?

DRF—The best place to start when considering a review of any staff member is their job description. This may beg the question, as often staff have out of date job descriptions.

If the job description is out of date or incomplete, then begin with the review of that document. The job description for a pastor and subsequent review is harder than it sounds. Consider some of the issues:

  • What are we calling our Senior Pastor to do? Are they a manager, leader, a CEO, a shepherd, a preacher, evangelist, hospital chaplain and congregation chief care giver? In those eight areas there are many full-time jobs. Your church must carefully weigh what you expect the Senior Pastor to do.
  • When you know what you want the Senior Pastor to do, then you need to consider how to measure the work. Some churches measure success by “nickels and noses,” which is people in the pews and more money in the coffers. Some churches measure success by spiritual growth and development in the congregation. Some churches measure success by the shepherding that happens, that people feel loved and cared for. Other churches measure success by the number of new people who have decided to follow Jesus.

Working harder and longer is not the answer, as you can read in this Hey Fletch column about a pastor working 65 hours a week. The answer is to work smarter on agreed upon goals, which are then fairly evaluated.

So, the first thing is for the Board to review itself. Have we, as a Board, given clear direction to the Senior Pastor? Then, have we held him accountable to the agreed upon role?

If the job description is current and well-represents the role, then evaluate the Senior Pastor based on that. Let me share with you review forms for the Senior Leadership from Mountain Springs Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. These give another picture of talking with staff about person and spiritual issues, as well as work performance.

There are also two class sessions on reviews in XPastor’s online course, Operations 101. Dan Reiland leads class 11 and Dr. Paul Utnage in class 5.