We sent an e-mail in early January to 4,122 Alban Institute members to ask about how frequently both they and their congregation’s program of ministry were evaluated and how helpful this was. 628 members currently employed as clergy or lay staff responded, a survey response rate of approximately 15%. Of those responding, 92% were clergy and 8% were lay. Frequencies of evaluation are shown below.

How often are you evaluated?

How often are others on staff
(clergy or lay) evaluated?


How often does your congregation
conduct an evaluation of its
program of ministry?


While this represents a “straw poll” only, its findings are revealing. Almost half of the respondents indicated that they experience their personal evaluation process as either “a little” or “not at all” helpful to their development as a leader. The survey also demonstrated that those who find their evaluation most useful are those whose evaluation is conducted as a mutual ministry review, where the leader(s) and the congregation jointly review their ministry. This would seem to support Alban’s preference that any evaluation of clergy be tied to the congregation’s assessment of its mission.

How helpful is this evaluation to your development as a leader?