I’ll return to the series tomorrow, but since many of us are starting the school year this week, we turn to a really important question:

How are you planning to evaluate?

Evaluation is really hard to prioritize, isn’t it? And yet it’s absolutely vital that we evaluate… and that we evaluate with tools that really tell us something about the activities that matter the most.

This past year, a few of the top leaders at our church spent time sitting in on several dozen of our church’s small groups. They talked to the leaders and group members, and otherwise participated (as far as an outsider could participate). And they came away with some excellent findings about what the best (and the worst) groups have in common. Because “Community Groups” are at the core of our church, it’s very important that we “get it right” in that area more than anywhere else.

That’s one hands-on example of evaluation. But no matter we end up doing, the key steps are:

  1. Decide what the most important elements of your college ministry are
  2. Pray and think through how you can honestly and effectively evaluate each
  3. Decide on some action steps to evaluate each – and put it on the calendar for this semester

Far too often, we “just do something” when it comes to evaluation. But an end-of-year survey (or 2-hour discussion with staff members during the summer) probably won’t get us all the evaluation we need. So the trick is figuring out what you need to evaluate first… and then figuring out how and when to do it.