NEPTUNE – With a goal of making the work of Greater New Jersey leadership transparent and relevant, GNJ leadership rolled out a series of evaluations to assess ministry and effectiveness. The first of these assessments focused on GNJ staff and administration. The second, which will rolled out in the spring is for clergy. The third and final evaluation is focused on congregations and has been included as part of the church conference forms.
“Evaluations can make us defensive. We internalize what people say or what they didn’t say. We feel vulnerable and uneasy,” said Bishop John Schol of the evaluation process. “It’s difficult work, but like all things difficult, they can make us stronger leaders and help move our mission forward by growing our ministry.”
The clergy evaluation provides pastors with feedback about their leadership and progress. It is done outside clergy appointments and salary reviews because it is to be focused on providing the pastor with what they are doing well, clarify expectations and set development plans for growth. It is not meant to identify a pastor’s next appointment or salary rather its goal is to provide healthy feedback.
The GNJ Leadership evaluation for staff and administration is being conducted twice a year and all clergy and lay are encouraged to participate. Links to the survey are sent in the fall and spring and included in the GNJ Digest to encourage participation. The goal of the assessment is what resources are done with excellence and what needs improvement.
The evaluation was open for two weeks in September and then again in March with 855 laity and clergy participating so far. The results were posted on GNJ’s website for all to review and given to teams of staff who reviewed the percentages and comments to identify how they can improve resources and communication. . Goals were set with the intention of measuring growth with each new survey conducted.
“There are important areas for us to improve,” said Schol, who praised GNJ for a dedicated staff that excels in their work. “They have made substantial headway over the last several years and implemented changes that are expanding GNJ ministry. I am blessed to serve with this staff team.”
The congregation evaluations are being added to the church conference paperwork that is completed each summer. The evaluation is to be completed by Church Council and gives the leaders of the congregation and opportunity to assess their strengths and weaknesses, flagging areas they would like to discuss with their district superintendents.
To develop the evaluations, GNJ staff worked with more than 50 clergy and church leaders and received input from the Board of Ordained Ministry. They have been tested by clergy, SPRC chairpersons, lay leadership, and congregations.
“Our congregations, lay leadership, and clergy have been working with us so we excel in our ministry to equip spiritual leaders to make disciples and grow vital congregations for the transformation of the world,” said Schol. “We have made a number of changes over the last several years, and together we’re beginning to see growth and fruit from our ministry.”