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I'm looking for a "tool" to use to effectively evaluate various ministries in the church. I want a tool that will allow us to look at how a ministry can build on its strengths, or maybe to determine if a ministry has out-lived its effectiveness. No agenda, just trying to ask the right questions. Thoughts?


Hi Jay, 

Have you explored the Building Blocks of Faith as a ministry evaluation tool? It was developed by Bob and Laura Keeley in 2014 and ministry leaders who use it have found it to be very helpful. 

It begins with the premise that our identities as people of faith of all ages are shaped by building on the framework of four themes: Belonging, Understanding/Knowing God's story, Having Hope, Being Called and Equipped.  The four themes (blocks) form a tool which can be used not only to evaluate every ministry within a church but which can be used with every age level.  

Click here to read the excellent article in which the blocks are described. (Be sure to check out the great chart on page 12!) Faith Formation Ministries (FFM) has also developed a Building Blocks Toolkit. It's filled with related resources as well as ideas from CRC's which have used the tool in their contexts. You can access it here.  

If you have any questions feel free to contact FFM. They'd love to help!

Which ministry evaluation tool to use depends on the kind of ministry to be evaluated. If the ministry is led by a paid staff, the tool to use will be different than one managed by volunteers. Staff evaluations must have necessary checks-and-balances built into the a Council-approved process that is mutually transparent; that is, it holds both the evaluator and the one evaluated accountable for their respective roles in the process. A volunteer-managed ministry evaluation is simpler, Council led, and essentially requires the design of right diagnostic questions.

Thanks Walt.  I appreciate your response.  I'm not really thinking about evaluating people - but evaluating programs.  I know sometimes it's hard to separate the two but that's what we'd like to do.  How can we gauge the effectiveness of a program?  Maybe it's not a reasonable approach?

I was going to suggest the Building Blocks of Faith also. It depends what your reason and/or objective is for evaluating your ministries. Once you are clear about that, then you can look for a tool to evaluate them.

If you want a tool that evaluates the entire church, (not just a ministry) I think Natural Church Development by Christian Swartz is a great tool.  It identifies your churches strengths compared to thousands of other churches.   I would also order his book and read it.   After reading the book, it is very easy to administer the test and interpret the results.  And it is not expensive.   The theory is that healthy things grow.  It is not a measure of church growth but rather church health. 


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