There are natural periods in which it is appropriate to evaluate your ministry’s success. For college ministry, one of those times is at the conclusion of the academic year. It is a time to look back and reflect on what the victories were in addition to what could have gone better (and the reasons why). As a leader it is important to evaluate success because it allows for the growth of your organization or ministry. I like to think of each year as a building block with which the following year can be built on. A growth mindset is important because we want our ministry and its members to be growing!
There are a few ways to evaluate your success. Let’s consider the following:
Any successful organization is strongly connected to an overarching vision or mission statement. The vision or mission of an organization can act as a compass to guide you throughout the year. For example, if your vision is to outreach to the community more, you can center your organization’s events, leadership development, and teachings around…..wait for it……community outreach! Once you have this organizational framework and mindset you can easily set goals throughout your year.
- As a leadership team, did we have goals?
- If so, what were they?
- Did we meet our goals?
- Did our attitudes and efforts reflect our goals, mission, or vision?
- Were the members cognizant or connected to the mission or vision?
- Did we accomplish everything we sought out to do?
Goal setting is imperative to evaluating your ministry’s success. If you did not set goals for this past year, think about goals for the upcoming year. What does God want for your group? What would you like to accomplish?
It can be hard to hear feedback from others. It often puts us in a place of defensiveness or poor self-esteem. However, if we seek to achieve growth, gathering and receiving feedback is essential. First and foremost, we need feedback from God on what went well and what could be better because His opinion matters the most. Next, look to your leadership team—their opinions should hold a lot of weight in your mind. They are the ones that are carrying out the mission and the many duties associated with it. Plus, they are probably cool people.
Ask your team:
- What were our victories? What went really well?
- What made these things successful?
- What could have gone better? What could have made these things more successful?
- Did you feel connected to the vision or mission? Why or why not?
- In your opinion were the members connected to the mission or vision?
- Did you accomplish everything you wanted to and do you feel successful regarding this past year?
- What brought your heart joy? What things were discouraging?
Your team’s attitudes and opinions are important because they may have perspectives that are different from your own. It may seem simple, but remember: “We are better together!”
Now that you’ve reflected on your journey and gathered the perspectives of your team members it is time to look ahead! Be excited! You have new opportunities coming soon and a chance to realign some things that may have gotten off track. Take some time to encourage your team and inspire excitement for the newness that a new year can bring. It is so important to go into the new year being positive—all the while reflecting on your past victories and blunders.
Ask the Lord:
- To give you vision for the new year and strategies to support it
- To encourage and grow your leadership team
- For divine wisdom as to how to tackle the challenges that will arise
- For unity amongst all members and leaders
- For the Holy Spirit to move powerfully within your group
Recognize that God is using you in powerful ways! Take heart!—for what you do matters to those that you serve and to the Kingdom of God. Full steam ahead as they say. There are good things coming right around the corner!