A SELF-EVALUATION PAPER FOR PASTORS
By Rodney W. Francis
Pastoring is a very challenging calling, and one that often has many demands placed upon it by people battling through problems and circumstances in life that they would prefer not to have. It is therefore very important that the office of a Pastor is filled by those who have the call of God to be Pastors. We have observed that people with the gifting of an Evangelist often finish up Pastoring. Yet Evangelists do not make good Pastors ~ it is a very different gifting.
This paper is an honest attempt to help those who are Pastoring to be more sure of their calling in God. When we know the will of God ~ and are walking in that will ~ then our lives and ministries will be much more fruitful. Pastoring is a calling, a gifting, not an occupation. I Pastored churches for 25 years, as well as pioneered several others, before God clearly called me into a full-time faith ministry at the beginning of the year 2000, so I do have an understanding of the things a Pastor goes through. My heart is to see Pastors fulfil their calling and destiny ~ that of nurturing and shepherding the people God entrusts to them ~ and to bring them to a place where they can be released to fulfil their calling and destiny as well (Ephesians 4:11-16 ).
May the following questions help you to clarify more of the call of God on your life, so you will be more effective than ever in the days ahead. There is no greater privilege in this life than to be called of God to a specific task, and to be fulfilling it. It also carries a huge responsibility, because Pastors are answerable to God for the way they treat and lead their people.
YOUR CALLING AND MINISTRY:
How long have you been Pastoring?
Is your Pastoring a part-time or full-time position?
Are you a Senior Pastor, or an Assistant Pastor?
What do you enjoy most in Pastoring?
What motivates you more than anything else?
What do you not enjoy very much in Pastoring?
How did God call you into the function of being a Pastor?
Did you have a specific call, or did you simply have a heart for ministry?
As a Pastor, do people gather to you? (Are you an “easily approachable” person?)
Is your church congregation growing, or decreasing?
If it is growing, what do you think are the key reasons for that growth?
If it is not growing, what do you think are the main reasons?
What do you see in yourself that requires adjustment or change?
As a Pastor, do you retain a teachable spirit?
Do you continue to be open to learn, and to accept and introduce new things as you receive them from the Holy Spirit?
What is the main emphasis of your preaching?
Do you get your own revelation from God for preaching, or do you rely on other preachers’ messages to preach?
What subjects “light you up” more than others?
What is your stance on Prophetic Ministry?
Do you preach and teach the importance of the voice of God being listened to, and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit being a part of the life of your church and people?
If you do promote the Prophetic Ministry, what are some of the benefits you see in the life of your church?
If you do not promote the exercising of the Spiritual Gifts, what are your reasons for that?
How secure are you as a Pastor?
Are you secure in your calling, or are you “hiding behind” your positional authority? (This is more important than you may realize).
If you are not secure in your calling, why do you think that is?
How do you handle criticism?
Have you observed the way you re-act to criticism when it comes (for it surely comes to all in Leadership positions)?
Are there any people you have not been able to forgive? (This is very important, for the enemy takes advantages of us more through unforgiveness than perhaps any other way)!
If there are people you have not been able to forgive, what do you think you should do about it? (We cannot afford to let any of these negatives rob us of effective ministry with Jesus)!
Do you love people? (I once was speaking at a Bible College and asked a student what God was calling him to be. He replied “A Pastor.” I then asked him if he loved people and he answered “No.” When I told him that he would not make a good Pastor if he did not love people, he got upset with me.) Love has to be the key motivation of all Christian Ministry. Without love we are nothing!
Do you trust your people? (This is also a very important question, for if we do not trust the people God gives us to Pastor, then we will never be able to release them into their God-given giftings and callings.)
Do you have a clear vision of where God wants you to take your people?
How clear are you in promoting the vision of God for you and your people? (A vision that is real produces a faith that works. A vision that is birthed by God’s Holy Spirit will not turn us into having to continually ask/beg for money to make it happen.)
Is your vision outward looking, or inward looking for the church only?
Can you write your vision down in one easy sentence?
How do you respond to those who do not believe in your vision?
Do you have a missions vision? That is, do you go on overseas missions to see how God works in other places ~ and take some of your people with you as a training exercise? (Numbers of people I have taken out on overseas missions are now in full-time Christian Ministry. Travelling and ministering together gives great opportunities to be able to impart into our people the things of God).
Is there anything that God is asking you to lay down (to place it on His altar)? (Often we cannot progress on to the next stage in God’s calling for us, until first we lay down what He is asking us to. It is a fact that we are secure in what we know, more than stepping out in faith into that which we do not yet know. But it is God’s way of stretching our faith so we can fulfil His calling, as well as answer the desires of our heart to be more effective and fruitful.)
Is there something that God has asked you to do, and you have not done it yet?
What is your attitude toward money?
Does God supply your needs for that which He has called you to do?
PERSONAL AND FAMILY LIFE:
Do you have a regular devotional life, i.e. spend personal time in prayer and study of God’s Word?
Do you have good disciplines in your life?
Do you know what to say “Yes” to and what to say “No” to?
Do you have a good accountability to others who understand the calling of God in your life, who understand the calling of a Pastor?
If you ran into personal problems, who could you talk to?
How open and honest are you as a person?
Do you make sure you spend quality time with your wife/husband and family?
Do you have any other interests that you can refresh yourself with?
If you feel this self-evaluation paper has helped you at all, please feel free to write and tell us.
Please note that you will find a number of good articles on our Website: www.gospel.org.nz Feel free to download and use as you want to.
Thank you, and God bless you as you endeavour to fulfil the purpose and calling of God on your life.
Your fellow-labourer in the harvest field of Jesus,
Rodney W. Francis.