I’ve been working with a few groups on ways to revamp their credentialing or ordination process– essentially, how to prepare ministers for ministry. This week on my blog I’m reflecting on some of my general thoughts in this topic.

assessmentThe first thing that’s critical is having clear outcomes. If you want to develop high quality leaders within your ministry, you need to first define what you want those leaders to look like. What do you want them to be able to do? What qualities do you want them to model and pass along to others? Identify clear, outcome-based competencies so you have a clear map of what you want your ordained leaders to be and do.

Then on the back end of the training process, you’ll need to assess the degree to which those outcomes have been need. A good assessment– which could take the form of behavioral interviewing, online assessment, or direct observation– will measure their competence in all pre-defined areas. For this you’ll need trained qualified assessors who follow a disciplined process so the results are standardized throughout your network.

Declaring something doesn’t make it so. You can say, “All of our leaders need to be following Jesus in their lives,” but unless you define what that looks like on the front end and then measure it on the back end, you really don’t know if you’re meeting that goal.