Monday, May 07, 2007

Annual Evaluation

In just a few minutes I go to meet with my pastor for my annual evaluation. I HATE this meeting.

Let me be clear about a couple of things. I love and trust my pastor implicitly. While we don't agree on everything, I have worked with him for close to 7 years now and I trust his heart as more than any other pastor I have ever worked with (and I've worked with some fine ones).

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I am reading Donald Miller's Searching for God Knows What. In that book there is a chapter called "Lifeboat Theory" that helps me to understand why I dread this meeting so. It is a fear of not measuring up. It is a fear of it being discovered that on John Maxwell's scale of leadership ability I might not be much above a 5, and as I understand Maxwell, you only attract leaders to work with you who are at or below your own leadership effectiveness level. Maxwell has said some things (at the Catalyst Conference) that I understand to mean that one can only increase one's personal leadership potential one or at most two levels. That means that if I am indeed only a level 5 (as I fear), it is doubtful that I will ever progress to a level 7, and only with a lot of work can I do that. I also get the sense that the really valuable leaders are the ones who function at level 7 and above because they're the ones who will really make an impact in people's lives. I would love to be that, but I fear not measuring up.

Then I read Miller and hear him say that all of this comparison and fear of not measuring up has its root in the absence of what we lost at the Fall. Before the Fall our sense of worth and importance came from our relationship with our Creator. Now that that relationship is no longer what it was, we are constantly comparing ourselves to each other to see who measures up and who doesn't ... to see if we get to stay in the lifeboat. I wish I enjoyed reading Maxwell more than I do. He is a good man who loves Jesus and has been very successful in mentoring young leaders. But when I read him, I get the overwhelming sense of "I'll never measure up."

On a cognitive level, I know my pastor and I know that despite "growth areas" that I need to address he loves me and supports my ministry. On an emotional level, I still stress out over the annual job performance review that I am about to endure. Why I put this on my blog I have no idea. I guess I want someone else to tell me that they wouldn't vote me off the island either.


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