Empowerment Leadership Model for Small Groups, Teams, & Families
Course 2, Lesson 17
Continually Evaluating the Group's Performance
Note: Whenever "group" or "team" is used, it can mean "group", "team", or "family".
The successful group must continually evaluate the performance of the group and its members in light of the group purpose. Since there is a tendency to sit back and relax when things are comfortable, the smart group makes certain that it continually assesses its own progress toward its purpose and goals. We Christians seem to be as addicted to comfort, safety, and pleasure as our counterparts outside the kingdom of heaven. So it is quite natural for a group to slide slowly and unperceived into another purpose – that of having a comfortable time or a safe time or a pleasurable time or all of these.
This points out why it is really best that the group leader not be a full-fledged, card-carrying member of the group. If there is not some significant distance for the leader, he or she will just as easily slip into complacence or another group purpose. Oh, there will be no formal declaration of another purpose. It will just happen. How many churches who say that their purpose is to reach out into the non-Christian community to bring people to Christ instead unconsciously adopt the purpose of being comfortable the way things are? It is unspoken, but these churches have changed their purpose to one of maintaining their present organization.
Here’s a few more examples. A Bible study group can become a social group with the purpose of fun. A Spiritual Obedience Group can be more comfortable studying the Bible than doing it. A church board can all too easily adopt the purpose of maintaining the status quo rather than its stated purpose of moving the church forward. A Missions Committee can unperceptively back off from the difficult task of motivating people to support or become missionaries and settle in just to disperse funds. A church basketball team can unconsciously adopt the purpose of winning games over that of being a loving witness for Christ in the City Sports League.
So the successful group evaluates its own performance and that of its members to see that efforts are still directed toward the accomplishment of the group’s purpose. Such evaluation also looks to see not only if efforts are in the right direction, but also if they are effective. Are they doing the job? You as group leader will have to watch this carefully. You should be the first to see the group stray from the purpose or continue on with ineffective actions because of your removal from the moment-by-moment activity of the group.
Discussing the appropriateness of activities can and should occur all throughout the group's experience. Often, what is first thought of as a logical approach to accomplishing the purpose and goals is not effective. The smart group dumps activities and approaches that do not stand the test. Even as a group continues its existence, some time-honored activities and methods will need to give way to newer or more exciting formats. This way the group does not become stagnant.
Next we will discuss briefly that a group sometimes has the task of redefining its purpose.
Copyright 2012 Dick Wulf, Colorado, USA