Support the Café
Search our site

Evaluating pastors and priests

Evaluating pastors and priests

At Duke Divinity’s “Call & Response Blog,” James Howell reflects upon some of the complexities of a new evaluation system in his denomination. Do you evaluate your pastor or priest? If not, why not? If so, how and why?


And then there is news that there is a website in Germany that allows you to “rate your priest” online. Is this coming to the shore of the New World soon? Hmmm

James Howell: Evaluation anxiety

Duke Divinity Call & Response Blog

We need to engage in process, and I suspect our new improved process is as good or better than any. But how can we without excessive fret and perspiration, sweating our way through the whole process?

I wonder if we begin with the curious recognition that at some level, clergy don’t really work for the people in the church, and don’t exist to satisfy their expectations. Certainly in denominations like mine, where we are “sent” to the people, but also in every ecclesiastical organization, we are charged with bringing something to the congregation the congregation hasn’t asked for and doesn’t prefer.

. . .

Sometimes what we’re called to bring is strange, even to the clergy. I just finished Eugene Peterson’s “The Pastor,” and his best moments come when he exposes “the Americanization of the congregation,” which turns each congregation “into a market for religious consumers, an ecclesiastical business run along the lines of advertising techniques, organizational flow charts, and energized by impressive motivational rhetoric.” In such churches, clergy pass evaluations with flying colors, but worship lapses into “entertainment, cheerleading, and manipulation… a public relations campaign for Jesus.” This strikes Peterson, and me, as “a violation of the holy, a secularization of the sacred, taking the Lord’s name in vain.” Or what about his realization “that I was gradually becoming more interested in dealing with my congregation as problems to be fixed than as members of the household of God to be led in worship and service”?

Yelp for Religion: German Website Lets you rate your priest

From Time NewsFeed

If there’s one thing people are opinionated about besides politics, it’s religion. But most priests don’t keep comment card boxes outside their offices, and now some enterprising Germans have come up with a solution. It’s called the “Hirtenbarometer”—try saying that three times fast—a.k.a. the “Shepherd’s Barometer.”

It is an intriguing idea— www.hirtenbarometer.de allows users to rate priests for their performance in church, with youth, with the elderly, etc. There’s even a category for whether or not your priest is “up-to-date.” The results are constantly updated with the new average. With the Rhineland still reeling from the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, it’s no surprise that the public wants to know: can I trust my priest?

Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café