We submit our work as ministers to review by others at least once every three years. This review is not the same as an appraisal. Rather, our recommended tool is a 360 degree review. This tool has the advantage of drawing on views from beyond the circle of those we usually answer to. We select reviewers from among those we oversee, minister to, work alongside and, if appropriate, work for, so that we get a rounded picture of our strengths and weaknesses in ministry.
The reviewers’ remarks are collated by someone we trust to give us honest feedback, but they are not shared with anyone else. It is up to us to determine the appropriate response to the feedback. We can of course discuss our response with those who accompany us, such as a mentor or pastoral supervisor. This type of review protects us from complacency on the one hand and from criticism that aims only to undermine or even control us on the other hand. Instead, through prayerful reflection on the breadth of responses, we are free to discern the ways in which God is calling us to grow.
Appendix 5 of the CMD Handbook gives details of the 360 degree ministry review tool forms and process.
Please note that some ministry settings, especially chaplaincy, have mandatory annual appraisals, and others among us already use appraisals devised by our churches or team leaders. Where these appraisals are in place, there is no need for us to duplicate them with a 360 degree review if we do not wish to.