Its June and for those of us who switch gears for the summer and move to away from our regular youth night, it means its time to think about doing a criticall assessment of the year that was. For my team that means meeting with some students one on one, using Survey Monkey with many students and asking some pointed questions about what went well, what could be better and what needs to change. My wife works as a Charterred Accountant (like a CPA) and the firm she works for does staff evaluations that ask three simple questions that we can use in our ministries to gain clarity on how things went during this school year:
Start? What are some things that we need to begin doing next year? Perhaps we talked about them or it was too late in the year to implement? What was God showing us to be important that we never considered and now we need to find a way to meet that need? For us this year, we found that we did not do an effective job of equipping our Jr High staff for effective and redemptive discipline of their students. That is something we need to start doing a more effective job of in the fall.
Stop? What is clearly not working? What are we pouring resources into with little fruit being shown? This is the hardest question because any insecurity that we have as leaders can cause us to get our backs up when our volunteers start picking apart our work. Pray for objectivity, that you would not be hurt or hardened by criticism, but encouraged that your leaders care deeply enough about your students to be honest about what is and isn’t working. We didn’t have many stops, but a big desire to end ambiguity around meeting schedules and prayer time for our leaders.
Continue? Be sure to do this one last, as it is by far the most encouraging. This where your leaders get to boast about what God is doing, what He has done and what elements of the program facilitated that happening. Its always very interesting as leaders report in to hear how each group experiences different elements and which students valued what. I love hearing about stories of growth in students that I had not heard about throughout the school year.
I will be honest, I avoided doing this last year because I was worried about what people might say, what they really thought and that I was perhaps not a good leader. This year was different, I was ready and prayed that I would be willing to recieve whatever feedback they gave. It was a challenging and encouraging experience and is totally worth it.
Geoff – (Twitter)