April 15, 2010

Every year, Mike, my husband, as an evaluation from the staff/parish committee. Evaluation is part of every job, but sometimes I get defensive when I hear some of the comments Mike receives. Last year was difficult. Giving was down because of the economy. There was a decrease in attendance. Mike always replies to my comments, "The buck stops here." meaning that he is not surprised for being blamed for these changes. I say to him, "But if these people realized how much you cared for each one of them and how much time you spend with individuals and their concerns, how can they point a finger at you for issues over which you really have no control?" (I add thankfully, however, that now giving is back to the 'normal' level and attendance has also increased.)

Anyway, one of the questions Mike was asked by a couple of people at his evaluation was, "When are you going to retire?"When Mike told me that, I said, "Is that a backhanded way of saying they want a new pastor?" Mike chuckled and replied, "I don't know." Mike, who is 62, has pastored the current church for fourteen years. He still has a lot of passion and energy for all aspects of ministry. We have discussed retirement, but not until he reaches 65.

How do you respond to comments about your spouse's 'on the job' performance?

Jacquie Reed, Fishers, Indiana

1 comment:

  1. I agree that this is really difficult for me as well, especially since so much hangs in the balance. What I really don't like is those churches who do an evaluation under a cloak of secrecy--folks can just call members of the staff/parish or fill out a form and not give their name. In our healthier churches, the evaluation is given to everyone and everybody has a chance to put in their 2 cents. But, no surprise, most of the time the vast majority don't respond.