Thursday, March 26, 2009

How to Evaluate Your Ministry

Evaluating your ministry can be difficult and there are many who would rather not evaluate at all because it feels "unspiritual". The truth is we all evaluate our ministries based on our own ministry values whether we have taken the time to write them down or not. Does it not make sense to actually write these things down and be thoughtful about how we evaluate? I am going to lay out one approach I have used. There may be others, but this has worked for me. A lot of the concepts I will be talking about come from material Sonlife Ministries put out a long time ago. However, it is no longer available as far as I know.

If youth ministry is about making disciples it is a good idea to have a description of what a disciple is. A DDP (Description of a Discipled Person) not only helps in the evaluation process, but it helps on the programming side as well. I have made a DDP that I have used available on my web site on the free page: If you are going to make a DDP for yourself, let me suggest you keep it simple five or Seven characteristics at the most.

DDPs are a great start in thinking strategically about your ministry. Jesus gave us a DDP of sorts when He gave us the Great Commission, "teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you." KRAs (Key Result Area) are a way of thinking about how to accomplish the task of making disciples. For example one of our Descriptions of a Disciple is a person who reaches the lost. So a Key Result Area might be training 30% of our students to share the gospel. There may be two or three KRA's for each DDP. You might also use one KRA for multiple DDPs. The point is you are developing a strategy to make disciples. Jesus did this often, He would teach crowds and then teach the disciples how to minister to the crowds and then send them out to minister to the crowds. You might say KRA's are the programming side of the DDP. You can see a sample of a KRA Here

SWOPs (Strengths Weaknesses Oportunities Potential/Problems) are a way of evaluating your KRAs. Simply put you think through the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and potential/problems in each Key Result area. If I was evaluating our small groups I might put strong leaders under strengths, limited by location and time under Weaknesses, Connecting with students under opportunities and Kids don't bring their Bibles under problems. You can find blank SWOPs here.

What this does is allow you to see where you are doing well and where you need work. Once you have figured that out you can begin to address the problems and weaknesses and turn them into strengths and opportunities. This process is difficult at times and requires being objective and honest. I will include my volunteer staff in this process when I think it will be helpful to them, but sometimes it is not helpful to have everyone involved. This is a basic look at this process and is not intended to be an exhaustive explanation.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, John! Helpful clarification about KRAs. The difference between what you explained and what my post was about is that you're comparing the results to scripture and discipleship. The guy in my blog post was comparing them to other ministries in his area. I agree with your approach, not with his.