Pastor-teachers ‘prepare God’s people for Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ’, so that they may become ‘mature people’ (Ephesians 4:12,13). How well are you doing?
Directions: Answer every question by putting the appropriate number (1) (2) (3) (4) or (5) in the blank before each item number. If in doubt, choose the most nearly correct answer.
____1. PREPARATION. To equip myself to equip others I spend time in prayer, reflection and study each week:
(1) 20+ hours (2) 15-19 hours (3) 10-14 hours (4) 5-9 hours (5) Less than 5 hours.
____2. DELEGATION. As a pastor-leader…
- I would delegate at least three or four pastoral visits to others each week;
- I do not attend most committees in the church but keep in touch with them indirectly;
- I live comfortably with the idea that people other than I can chair significant church meetings or committees;
- I am not worried if I do not know the details of everything that happens in the church;
- When a job has to be done I have a habit of asking myself ‘Am I the best person to do it? Would I be depriving someone else of a ministry if I did it?’;
- I readily delegate tasks to others; most of the time I have the skill to choose the right person for a job, and am happy to leave them with it;
- I circulate leadership material to all our leaders.
I would score well in (1) all these areas (2) OK in four or more of them (3) three (4) two (5) one or none..
____3. THEOLOGICAL TRAINING: My entire college/seminary theological training (after high school) includes…
(1) 4+ years full-time or equivalent (2) 3-4 years full-time or equivalent (3) 2-3 years full-time or equivalent (4) 1-2 years full-time or equivalent (5) Less than one year..
____4. PRACTICAL THEOLOGY: My theological training included practical theology components such as
- regular spiritual direction with a spiritual guide,
- personal growth and development,
- a supervised pastoral placement,
- a thorough critique of my communication/preaching skills,
- supervised counseling,
- a time management course,
- leadership skill development,
- other courses in practical theology:
Of the above, I have taken (1) all of these (2) at least four of these (3) three (4) two (5) one or none.
____ 5. CONTINUING EDUCATION. I do a post-seminary course (of at least 3 days’ duration) in some area of practical theology
(1) more than once a year (2) about once a year (3) less than once a year (4) about every 2-3 years (5) hardly ever
____ 6. PROFESSIONAL READING. I read books on practical theology:
(1) at least one a week (2) about 2-3 a month (3) about 1-2 a month (4) about 1-2 every two months (5) fewer than 1-2 every three months
____7. JOURNALS. I read practical ministry periodicals or journals:
(1) 4 or more a month (2) about 3 a month (3) about 2 a month (4) about one a month (5) fewer than one a month.
____8. LEADERSHIP TRAINING.
- I meet with key leaders individually at least once a month;
- I meet with the leadership team for a training session at least once a month;
- these leaders would aim to reproduce themselves in the lives of others;
- we have elders who visit members on a regular basis;
- we have commissioned deaconesses or lay visitors who visit in homes and hospitals;
- at least 10% of our regular Sunday attendees would be involved in significant occasional counseling of others in need;
- there is a prayer chain or similar structure to engage in intercessory prayer for those in difficulty;
- we have regular community ministries in place that would meaningfully contact the equivalent of at least 20% of our Sunday attendance each week;
- at least a quarter of our people would know how to pray with someone to receive Christ as Savior and Lord;
- a significant minority of our people would find themselves spontaneously praying with another as part of a meaningful contact.
We would score well in (1) at least seven of the above (2) five-six (3) three-four (4) one or two (5) none
____9. WORSHIP LEADERSHIP. Our church involves many people in leading worship services through
- seminars on worship;
- setting up one or more worship committees;
- having at least 2 people participate in leadership besides the preacher in most worship services;
- involving musically-gifted people to help choose hymns/songs;
- training persons with preaching/teaching skills and allowing them to minister publicly according to their gifts;
- opening up a part of many services for people to share their faith-stories.
We do (1) all of these (2) four of them (3) three (4) two (5) one or none of the above
____10. COUNSELOR TRAINING. There is a ‘counseling/how to help your friend’ course run by our church (or some other nearby group which our church members are urged to attend):
- (1) about once a year (2) about once every 2 years (3) about once every 3 years (4) every 4 years or so (5) never or hardly ever
____11. VISITATION TRAINING. To train people in visitation /counseling I have a trainee with me
(1) at least 50% of my people-time (2) 30-40% (3) 20-30% (4) 10-20% (5) Less than 10%
____12. GROWTH GROUPS. The proportion of our regular Sunday attendees belonging at any one time to a small group for spiritual growth would be
(1) 70% or more (2) 45-70% (3) 25-45% (4) 10-25% (5) less than 10%
____13. FORMATION. To foster our people’s ongoing spiritual growth we have:
- a how-to-pray course at least once a year;
- a bookstall operating after most Sunday services and perhaps at other times;
- regular book reviews from the pulpit and/or in the church bulletin;
- a church library (with books, audio- and perhaps video-cassettes) in regular use by at least a significant minority of our people;
- at least two courses on Bible study or theological topics a year;
- at least one seminar per year on life-related themes;
- a habit of regularly circulating photocopied articles particularly to leaders;
- announcements at least twice a month of outside conventions or training opportunities for our people;
- at least a significant minority of our young people attending Christian camps, Scripture Union beach missions, Christian groups at their schools or colleges and similar functions;
- leadership training opportunities in place for small group facilitators
We would have (1) at least five of the above in place (2) four (3) three (4) two (5) one or none.
____14. ORGANIZATION. In our church’s structure,
- we have regular communication between the leaders and the church;
- we open positions for junior members to join important leadership groups;
- our leaders invite and receive regular written communications from church members;
- we have a feedback mechanism which produces ideas and suggestions from many in the church;
- we have a ‘sabbatical’ system so that leaders must retire for at least a year every six-to-eight years;
- at least 30% of regular Sunday attendees would belong to a committee or task force during a two-year period.
(1) We have all this in place (2) we have three of the above (3) two (4) one (5) none
Total Points= ____
How did you score? If your total score was
- 14 (honest?) go straight to heaven! You have fulfilled your ministry!
- 15-20 – your church is quite unique (but don’t rush into organizing seminars on ‘how we succeed around here’!).
- 21-30 – excellent: now work on setting goals to improve.
- 31-40 – get the World Vision video ‘Your Church Can Come Alive’.
- 41-50 – get the World Vision video and a copy of the book for each leader.
- 51-60 – definitely get the video and book, and get other churches in your area to combine for a live seminar. (Cost? travel expenses, accommodation in someone’s home, and a donation to World Vision).
- 61+ – Don’t get discouraged, and do all of the above!
Dr. Rowland Croucher
* Note From The Editor:
This questionnaire is from Your Church Can Come Alive – 34 Marks Of A Healthy Church by Rowland Croucher and reprinted by permission of the author. Dr. Rowland Croucher is Director of John Mark Ministries.
Most pastors fail this test of excellence. If such is the case don’t be too hard on yourself or your pastor. The point of this questionnaire is not to cause embarrassment. Instead, it is to encourage pastors and congregations in the development of some important ministry areas. Consider the possibilities suggested above and implement some of these possibilities in your church!
Thomas F. Fischer