Constructive evaluation – tools for individuals and teams

The end of the year is always a great time to look back and evaluate your life, your family, and your ministry. There are great questions to ask yourself like:

• What would I do differently if I had to do it all over again?

• What could I add or take away to bring more joy and peace into my life?

• What was fulfilling this year and what could I do with less of?

There are all kinds of tools available to help in an end of year debrief or evaluation and I have collated six below. So read on and look at the following tools for individuals, couples and for teams and choose one or two that you can utilise to finish the year well and enter the new year with a sense of what you have learned and what your new year priorities could be.

Let’s start with a very easy and perhaps the quickest evaluation that can be done as an individual, family or ministry:

1. Traffic lights debrief:

This can be used as a summary action plan after talking through your year, or you can use it for different categories of life.

For instance: In your devotional life, personal life, family life, and work life.

2. A simple audit for a community base or team

The goal is to identify areas of strength and weakness in the community to set new goals for growth.

3. Team evaluation on the team gift mix

Important gifts in the team:

• Ideas & vision development: identifying where the organisation or ministry needs to go and bringing ownership of the vision to each member of the team.

• Organisation & management: looking into the team to develop structure, systems, organisation and steps for implementation of the vision.

• Relational support & care: creating a hospitable environment for the team, being available to the members and serving them in the best way possible for them to enjoy a close bonding.

• Spiritual development: discerning how God wants to encourage the team and individuals within it and see the growth of the team as a whole in spiritual life together.

Each gift has a different focus but is essential for the overall team functioning well.

Rate each of these gifts that are presently working in your team and pray about what needs to be done to enhance the team’s effectiveness. On a scale of 1-5 (1 low, 5 high) how effective is this gift?

4. Highs & Lows exercise: Personal, couple or team debrief

Think back over the year or a longer season if appropriate. Now think back over this season to the highs and lows you have experienced. Think of at least 3 examples of each. You can also add what made these situation highs or lows for you. Reflect on your thoughts and feelings at that time. What have you learned from those experiences?

On the chart, place the start date on the left and today’s date on the right of the horizontal line. Place crosses on the page above the line for a high mountain top experience and below the line for a valley. Write a word, phrase or symbol that will remind you of the situation.

Highs may include: celebrations; milestone events; accomplishing a goal, starting something new, encounters with God; fulfilling vision; depth of relationships; a special holiday; moving; sensing a new calling or passion; breakthroughs in your life; growth through mentoring, coaching or counselling; …

Lows may include: transitions; health issues; conflicts; disappointments; failures; losses; lack of passion; financial struggles; family issues; depression, …

It can be very helpful to share your insights with someone else. This can be a spouse, friend or team mate.

5. Hats exercise: Relational & Ministry roles and responsibilities evaluation

Think about all the hats you wear. Now limit these to the six most time consuming/important roles. For instance: your relational roles – father/mother, husband/wife, brother/sister, grandparents, cousins, children and grandchildren, friends, mentors, mentorees, etc. Then think of your work or ministry roles: school leader, leadership team member, team leader, ministry role in the team, etc. Take each role one by one, most important or time consuming to least and ask these questions:

6. General ministry debrief and future plan:
Where have I been, where am I going and how am I getting there?

I hope you will be able to use one, two or more of these evaluations in your own life, your marriage or your team.


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