While there are many benefits to evaluation, there are some pitfalls that we must be aware of and avoid. If we are overly active in evaluation, and mostly focus on the negatives, there is the potential to create a critical environment that will discourage and decrease your pool of volunteers. To avoid evaluation being perceived as criticism, it must be accompanied by genuine affirmation. Indeed, most often we forget to affirm our workers, particularly those who have served in their chosen ministry for a considerable time. They are always there and always do the job, and we come to expect that they always will be there and do the job. Evaluation will give you the opportunity to affirm them.
On many occasions the apostle Paul had to set the church or individuals straight in matters of attitude, behavior, or doctrine. This shows that some evaluation had taken place. Whenever he could, Paul also affirmed people for their support of Him personally or for their faithfulness to God or for the faithful performance of a specific ministry.
To be fair in evaluation, we must evaluate not only the outcomes but also the processes. Outcome evaluation asks if a program achieved its planned results. Process evaluation reviews internal project management.
Carefully read Hebrews 10:24-25. What does it mean to “consider one another” in this context? What evaluative principles are suggested?
These verses are more than a suggestion. They strongly admonish us to take the spiritual growth and development of each other seriously. If we are to consider what God requires in our Christian lives, and also fulfill a need to consider at what point we each are in our experience, then it also follows that appropriate evaluation will be undertaken as we “consider one another.”
Think about how encouraging it is when someone affirms you, either simply for who you are as a person and/or your ministry. It’s amazing how just a few simple words can do so much! What’s your general attitude toward others? Do you tend toward criticism or toward affirmation? If the former, how can you change this destructive character trait?