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Senior Pastor Evaluation And Accountability Template

In our last article, The Conundrum of Pastor Accountability and Evaluation, we talked of the challenges in effectively and fairly evaluating and holding the Senior Pastor accountable, and provided several potential options for consideration.

Another challenge that churches face in pastor accountability and evaluation is that the typical church staff evaluation form is not as applicable to the pastor. In our last article we outlined several reasons this is so. A potentially fairer and more effective way to hold the pastor accountable and to evaluate his performance is the development of an annual template that shows goals, initiatives, and results in each of the pastor’s areas of responsibilities.

Goals, or objectives, along with potential initiatives should be completed no later than early January and reported against at least quarterly. An Elder Team, or Advisory/Accountability Team might help the pastor in developing his annual objectives and goals and receive his quarterly report on how he is progressing. And, when necessary, encourage modification of goals, objectives and initiatives if circumstances merit a change.

Reporting on these mutually agreed upon goals quarterly rather than just annually allows for the Team to offer ongoing and timely counsel and adjustments can be made if necessary. It also helps preclude any year end evaluation related surprises. The Elder Board or Advisory/Accountability Team might provide a copy of the 4Q Template (usually completed mid-November) to the Personnel Committee along with an evaluation category like those used with the remainder of the staff—Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, etc.

The Elder Board or Advisory/Accountability Team might also consider attaching a document where they reflect in narrative form on the performance of the Pastor over the past year. This might include their own observations and experiences as well as observations and experiences of church members, other church leaders, and staff that they had conversed with over the year. This process can help fill in some blanks and elaborate further on attributes, issues, progress, contributing factors, extenuating circumstances, or accomplishments not easily or effectively reflected in the template.

No process or template is perfect, but a goal and objectives approach around job duties is usually a better approach for most churches.  And, customizing and individualizing the form and the process ensures a better result.

Click HERE to download an example of the pastor accountability and evaluation template described above. It is designed to be modifiable and expandable so it can be customized and completed by the pastor and his board or team.

Posted on November 16, 2021

Jim Baker

Jim is a Church Organizational Leadership and Management Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Throughout his career Jim has demonstrated a passion for showing Pastors and Ministers how to use organizational tools for church and personal growth and health.

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“For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5