What is a healthy form of pastoral evaluations?
In the church I am currently serving (for the past 5 years), I have encountered a method of evaluation for the pastor that I have never seen or heard of in any other church.
Essentially, every member of the congregation is given the opportunity to fill out an evaluation form. The form lists several aspects of my job description and gives the member three options: "Exceeds My Expectations, Meets My Expectations, or Needs Improvement." The evaluation makes clear that if the member marks "Needs Improvement," they must explain why on the sheet. I don't necessarily have a problem with this part of the evaluation.
However, the evaluation makes clear that the member is not required to sign the form...they can remain anonymous, no matter what they write in terms of critical comments. Then, the Pastoral Relations Commission reads through all of the evaluation forms and discusses them without me present, and they prepare a "summary" of the forms which they then go over with me. I am not told the specifics of anyone's critical comments, and I am not told who submitted signed forms.
To me, this kind of evaluation process teaches congregation members to handle problems that they have without going directly to the pastor (or anyone else in the church for that matter) as we are commanded by Christ in Matthew's gospel.
Instead, in my opinion, it robs congregation members of the responsibility to address conflict openly and to be willing to listen to my side of the story. Thus, it merely allows them to feel confirmed in their own attitudes and it doesn't foster the kind of redemptive discussion that should be happening in the church.
Anyone else have thoughts on this? And could anyone share if they know of a more healthy way to deal with pastoral evaluations?