Tag Archive - evaluation


3 Things that will Prevent you from Being a Learner

The most likely cause that you’ll hit a lid in your leadership growth will be self-imposed. It’s possible that you can be the lid to your own growth. Every good leader knows that if you want to be a leader you have to be a learner. But you can’t be a learner if you:

1. You Can’t be a Learner if you Miss Opportunities

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. You can’t be a learner if you don’t try. Experience can be your best teacher if you’ll choose to learn from it. But without attempting new things and putting yourself in a position to learn you never will.

2. You Can’t be a Learner if you Refuse to Listen

Every great learner is a great listener. Learners ask for feedback and then they listen. Anyone who refuses to listen to feedback is doomed to fail and will prevent themselves from being a learner.

3. You Can’t be a Learner if you don’t Evaluate

If you don’t learn to conduct an autopsy without blame, you’ll prevent yourself from being a learner. What do you need to continue, change, clarify or create? What do you need to preserve and what do you need to pivot away from? Learners are constantly evaluating and improving.

Posted in Leadership


2012 in the Rearview Mirror

When you’re in the middle of the fray it’s often difficult to see what kind of progress you’re making. That’s why it’s helpful from time to time to take a step back and review the ground you’ve taken and celebrate the wins! After all what gets celebrated, gets repeated! So here are some of the ministry highlights that I experienced in 2012!

1. Multisite & Merger

Being a part of leading through the transition from one campus to three campuses and a church merger has been one of the most exciting opportunities I’ve ever had to lead through. To read more about it follow this link.

2. Fast Growth

It was an honor to have Sun Valley Community Church recognized by Outreach Magazine as one of the top 10 fastest growing churches in America this year!

3. Baptisms

We baptized 382 people this year on the Gilbert Campus and two of those were my oldest daughters. Big moment in the Alexander house!

4. Student Ministry

More Students went to camp this year than ever before in the history of the church!

5. Children’s Ministry

The Elementary Ministry has grown by 12% this year! We’re continuing to reach young families!

6. Outreach & Volunteers

We mobilized more than 2,000 people to serve in local outreach through quarterly Community Impact Weekends! The word “Community” in our name actually means something!

7. Small Groups

Small Group Bible Studies increased by more than 50% this year! Life change happens best in the context of relationship and I love the fact that more people are getting connect with each other centered around God’s Word!

8. Generosity

We discovered that 82,000 people in Maricopa County don’t know where their next meal is coming from and we decided to do something about this Christmas. To read more about it follow this link. The goal was to fill 5,000 boxes of food between all three of our campuses. I was thrilled when I learned that the Gilbert Campus filled more than 4,500 boxes of food this December to combat hunger in our own neighborhood (and we blew past our goal by the way)!

Within a 10-mile radius of the Gilbert Campus there are 880,000 people who don’t go to church anywhere. So while we’re nowhere near done, I’m excited about the ground we’re taking!

I’d love to hear about the ministry wins you experienced in 2012! Leave a comment!

Posted in Leadership


When Evaluation goes Wrong

Socrates is credited with saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” If that’s true then there are a lot of churches that are in existence that shouldn’t be. Along those lines this past week I had a great conversation with my Leadership Coaching Network about why evaluation seems to be avoided in church-world. Here are some of the reasons we came up with.

1. Personal Attachment

Often staff members see their sermon or ministry program as an extension of themselves as a result many can’t separate the discussion about a ministry program from their own personality or character.

2. Leading with “No”

Sometimes the evaluation derails when a group picks things a part and can’t get on the solution side of things.

3. Unclear Expectations

Evaluation bogs down when a team member is unclear about what they’re trying to accomplish and when a win is confusing.

4. Addiction to Tradition

The only people who like change are leaders because they’re pushing towards a preferred future. This usually means abandoning past successes or even traditions. Many churches do evaluation poorly because of sacred cows that can’t be touched.

5. Stonewalling

Some churches and staff are simply living in denial and refuse to be sober minded. As a result they stonewall and refuse to deal with their current reality.

6. Fear

Some churches and staff members refuse to approach evaluation seriously not out of a fear of what they may find but rather they may have to work harder or differently to obtain different results.

What would you add to the list? What’s your experience with evaluation in the church-world? Leave a comment!

Posted in Leadership


Measure what Matters

I can remember as I was growing up my dad got this idea to build a barn (big enough to park a boat in). He drew the plans up himself and had in his mind that this was going to be one of those father-son bonding moments, a rite of passage into manhood so to speak. While some of us in the family look back at the moment more fondly than others (the barn was built and I don’t think a hurricane could take it out), I did take a valuable lesson out of the experience. “Measure twice, cut once.” Apparently accurate measurements can lead to a successful project, and a failure to measure accurately meant more time on the project, more money to buy more supplies, and a goofy looking barn that would probably come down in the first rainstorm.

As churches are in the middle of evaluating 2012 and planning for 2013 there are a couple of critical principles about measurement that we need to keep in mind…

Continue Reading…

Posted in Leadership


4 steps to effective evaluation

Much has been written about the process of evaluation. In fact, some people make a pretty good living off of evaluation and the piles of data that it can produce. Because ministry doesn’t move in slow motion, I don’t always have the time to dig into everything as deep as I may like so I’m always looking for clear, simple, and functional tools for effective evaluation. Below are four simple steps you can use to evaluate just about anything, including a weekend service, an event, a meeting or even a team member.

Step #1: Celebrate

Celebration is often overlooked when it comes to the evaluation process. Our tendency is to dive into what didn’t go right and what can be improved upon. However it’s just as important to know what went right, as it is to know what went wrong.  After all, if you want it to go right again you’ve got to identify what went well, because what gets celebrated gets repeated.

Step #2: Correct

We don’t grow without correction. But correction can range anywhere on the scale from “minor improvements” to something was a “complete failure.” During this part of the process it’s important to be as candid as possible in measuring what happened against what you actually set out to accomplish. You can’t speak “ministerially” when participating in evaluation and get anywhere. Great evaluation is hard to come by without a culture of openness, safety, and candor.

Step #3: Clarify

What was confusing and needs clarification? Maybe you had an incredibly creative element planned into your weekend worship service. It was a great idea but it didn’t fit where you put it and it came off feeling awkward or worse, didn’t align with the message. Maybe communication was confusing in a meeting and it resulted in people walking out with competing agendas. What is the one message, action, or idea that you are trying to align everything to and clearly articulate?

Step #4: Create

This is the one all of the creatives were waiting for. At some point in the process you’ve got to ask yourself, “Was there anything missing?” Is there something that needs to be created and built to make whatever it is you’re evaluating more effective? This is where you’ve come full circle in the evaluative process. You’ve gotten on the solution side of things and you’re now working on implementing the next thing that’s going to be evaluated.

This article first appeared as a guest post I wrote for Creative Junket a Creative Arts Blog run by Rick Calcutt.

Posted in Creative Arts, Leadership
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