3 Reasons You Should Consider Peer Reviews


Depending on the size of your church, you may be managing a team of 10-15 or 100+ people. Leadership experts suggest that a good manager should be easily accessible, praise his team often, and conduct regular performance reviews. But as a pastor leading a substantial ministry team, it’s unreasonable to expect you will always be accessible or able to conduct performance reviews on a regular basis. Good church leaders create healthy ways for their church staff to express concerns and solve problems, and peer reviews can be a helpful platform to facilitate this process. 

When are peer reviews helpful for your team? Consider these three scenarios that you may face within your ministry team.

1. Decentralized Decision-Making – More and more churches are establishing a flatter management model instead of a top-down, hierarchal approach. This allows the lead pastor to focus on his direct responsibilities such as preaching, pastoral care, and investing in his executive team. Decentralized decision-making allows the executive team to be leaders of leaders, investing in their staff to lead the church’s small groups in spiritual and leadership development. This system typically calls for increased team collaboration and project management, which is when a peer review may prove useful.

As team members work together and report to different individuals on specific projects, their peers can help give a 360 view of the person’s work performance. Equip your team leaders on your church staff to conduct a simple, anonymous survey upon a project’s completion asking for feedback on both his performance as a leader and the individual performances of the members of the team. This same model can be used among church volunteers in Bible studies and other church programs.

2. Generation Y Employees – As your church hires more millenials, it is important to the overall health of your team that you understand how this generation receives and gives information. Generation Y is the first generation to grow up with computers in-house and social media in-hand. They are accustomed to receiving feedback quickly. EmployeeEvolution.com predicts that Generation Y will create the on-the-spot performance review. If your team is made up of several Gen Ys, be sure they have the opportunity to receive regular feedback from their peers and senior leaders. They crave it and expect it.

3. Remote Offices – Technology has made the church more transient than ever. Growing churches are opening additional campuses on a regular basis, often splitting church offices between several locations. While this allows for a broader reach, it may cause the team to feel segmented and isolated from senior leaders. If your church has remote offices, create an environment where your team member’s voices can be heard. Perhaps you initiate conversation on an internal chat system among your team or have everyone meet for lunch in a common location where the team can ask questions and express concerns. Here at Vanderbloemen, our teammates are often traveling throughout the week, so we use Chatter to stay in touch and give each other feedback regularly. 

These are just three scenarios when peer reviews may benefit your team.

What are other scenarios when peer reviews can be helpful?