A Quick Assessment of Your Congregational Vitality

A Quick Assessment of Your Congregational Vitality

May 29, 2017—Assessment and evaluation are critical practices for any organization. Yet, many congregations do a poor job of assessing and evaluating the multiple and often complex facets of congregational vitality. There are several reasons for this: a lack of time on the part of leaders, a lack of resources, and a lack of expertise are some. Regardless, failing to take time to periodically, and routinely, assess the state of affairs is a liability for any organization, including congregations. Evaluative practices provide a corrective to the liability of self-referencing: believing we’re doing a great job just because we say we are.

A church’s ministries will be shaped by several factors: its history, denominational relations, size, location, predominant social class, identity, life stage, and leadership, for example. Below are essential congregational program and development areas common to most churches. Use this as a quick check-up with your staff and church leadership. Be honest, remember that critique is not criticism. Evaluation and assessment is a matter of integrity: Are we living up to our vision? Are we fulfilling our mission? Are we doing the best we can toward what we are called to do and be?

For each item grade yourself (A = Excellent, B = Good, C = Fair, D = Needs improvement, F = Fail) on (1) Capacity and (2) Effectiveness.

1. Leadership Development

2. Pastoral Care Ministries

3. Educational Ministries

4. Music Ministries

5. Outreach Ministries

6. Missions and Ministries

7. Congregational Development

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning and Director of Online Education, adapted from A Christian Educator’s Book of Lists by Israel Galindo (Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys, 2013).


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