“The great need for the Christian worker is to be ready to face Jesus Christ at any and every turn.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, March 29, page 89.)
It occurs to me that as a Christian evaluator my relationship with Jesus has no time-out periods. I need to be just as ready to face him while I am in the field collecting data as I am in the sanctuary.
Many years ago I was on my way in a village to do interviews when a woman interrupted me to ask for prayer. I gently but firmly said that I could not take time to pray with her at the moment. She turned away and I continued on my way. Months later, during a worship service with hundreds of people, a member of the evaluation team described what I had done, and pointed to me while he said that I honored my profession more than my relationship with Christ.
That was when I realized that I was called to be Christian first and evaluator second. Meditate on Luke 12:35-48 (“Be ready for service and have your lamps lit….”) with an open mind and willing heart.
Reflect on James 4:13-17
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This passage reminds me that ambitious planning may become an obstacle to getting closer to God. When my attention is focused on achieving greater things I forget to seek what almighty God, creator of all things large and small, wants me to do.
Evaluation of transformational development should examine motives behind development planning. Why did agency staff set particular goals for their work? What is the relationship between their personal goals and the way they work with community members?
Why did community leaders and others set the development goals in the program that is being evaluated? Is the primary motive to satisfy worldly ambitions or is it to bring members of the community in closer relationship with our merciful God?
Lord, help me focus my evaluation work on values related to your kingdom on earth. Amen.