Safe From Scorekeeping


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Anand Giridharadas of The New York Times wrote Sunday about his experience of being rated by an Uber cabbie recently.  Not only would he – as the consumer – be rating the cabdriver as an Uber customer, but he realized upon leaving the taxi, that the cabdriver was also rating him.  Great.  One more thing to compete over:  Who is a better taxi passenger?

We are already assessed by employers and teachers, often by the numbers. Some of us have Klout accounts that rate our social media influence between 0 and 100.  President Obama’s Klout score is 99.

According to Giriharadas’ article, there’s a dating service in NYC that matches people based on their their Klout score.  Ugh.

Imagine if we pastors decided to rate our parishioners.  Again, ugh.

All of us in professional church ministry are aware that some parishioners can be counted on to help at a moment’s notice and others cannot.  We know who the Type A parishioners are, and yes, they Get Things Done.  We know which people are committed and which seem less so.  Actually, I have a pastor friend who serves a New Church Plant and this pastor holds individual annual evaluations with each member to assess his/her spiritual growth, financial commitment, etc.

I’m not interested in this and honestly, I doubt that many people in our spiritual communities would 1) care and 2) stick around if most pastors tried to do this.

But the truth is that we do keep score in church.  We judge each other, often mercilessly.  We often eat our own.

Imagine a world in which church was the one community where people didn’t keep score.  Imagine a totally safe environment where we figure out together how God works.

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One response to “Safe From Scorekeeping

  1. Yes…

    But the new church plant pastor isn’t far off the mark. Part of our problem is that we’re not holding each other accountable nor setting expectations that people will grow and serve.

    High-investment communities (that is, communities in which members are highly invested and involved) have these kinds of discernment conversations often.

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