Feedback to Pastors


Data on CRC congregations and pastors from the Third Wave Report continues to nag at me. It appears that routine feedback to pastors from their councils is a very valuable tool! So, wouldn't you think we'd be doing that as one of our "disciplines"? Regularly, everywhere? Every church? Well, no, of course not every church. Some places are too tense or too unsafe. But what about the dozens, maybe even hundreds of congregations where this could be pretty easily started and would make a significant positive difference? Wouldn't you think?   

So, come on, deacons! Talk about this at a meeting soon. See what your pastor thinks. Talk about how it could be done in a way that would be caring and supportive and honest and helpful. Too many pastors in the CRC are dying for lack of good quality caring feedback from their congregational leadership. Deacons, let's lead on this one. Who out there has a story about how this practice was initiated in your congregation? Anybody out there who is opposed to this idea? Want to tell us why?

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I agree Karl, that deacons can provide feedback to the preachers, pastors, elders, and cleaning staff, although it should be done in a charitable, positive, constructive and loving way.    Perhaps the way to start this is for deacons themselves also to ask for feedback from the congregation, and from elders and pastors.   This will help them to understand how to give feedback to others, and it may encourage others also to ask for feedback.   It may also be helpful to start with deacons giving feedback to each other, and then go on from there.  

Karl, your statement, "too many pastors are dying for a lack of feedback" hit me when I read it the second time.   I find it a shame that lack of feedback should cause preachers to die since we should be working for the Lord, not for approval of men.   But on the other hand, I understand that a lack of response really makes you wonder about the impact of what you are doing, and whether it is appreciated or not.    I suggest that if preachers or elders or deacons want feedback, that they not be too shy to ask for it.   That they ask for it in a way that is meaningful to them.   That they ask specific questions.   They may not always get the answers they expect, nor as complete as they would like, but it will be better than silence or absence of reaction.   I must admit however, that I really enjoy the unsolicited comments the most.