Last week, I took a morning to conduct a Quarterly review. It seemed like a good time – two and a half months into the new ministry post, and I’ve gathered a headful of ideas and impressions. So this was a clarifying three hours, looking back and looking forwards.
There are a dozen ways of conducting a Quarterly ministry review: I like the pattern laid out by Michael Hyatt. Simply, you pray, look back, and look forwards. It’s a useful exercise which sits between the weekly ‘staff meeting with me’, and the annual complete check and course-setting day.
I had only one question in my head: what is the unique contribution to this church I can make, from my position as the pastor? There are critical contributions I share with others, like preaching and praying, but there are some which sit uniquely with me. My best gift to the church is to identify them, and then to come up with one simple goal for the next three months in each of those areas.
And I now have clarity on where to focus for the next three months.
For instance, I intend: to make sure the men’s ministry is restarted and refocussed. Other people will share that with me as soon as I can arrange it, but mine is the unique place to gather the concerned few, and focus their energies on the matter at hand. I convene and clarify.
And I then have to say, how can I ensure that I do those things, and don’t fritter my time on a million other things that call my time.
That has meant another foray into how I plan my diary, and I am now trying to do a different pattern. In the past I have tried to give each of my days a shape (morning study, afternoon seeing people, evenings meetings or groups) That’s been good and will continue – the new idea is to plan the overall week and give each day a theme. So Monday is prep, Tuesday is for staff – and so on. It’s an ideal, which will fall apart when it collides with reality, but it helps the people around me to know when to cluster activities so they coincide with mine.
Have you tried a Quarterly Review? What have been the best discoveries you’ve made on how to have one?