Tag Archives: Fuller

Exercise: Understanding Spiritual Discernment

The attached file is an exercise to assist people to clarify their understanding of spiritual discernment. The file was revised 26 JAN 2017.

103 Understanding Spiritual Discernment Feb

It can be used by evaluation team members to facilitate consensus on data collection and analysis for this aspect of an evaluation.

It can be used with stakeholders as the evaluation is planned.

It can be used to facilitate use of spiritual disciplines that guide the activities of the evaluation team.

May your ministry be more pleasing to God as you develop deeper understanding of discernment, and internalize discerning practice.

Accord Network: Principles of Community Development That Can Create Opportunities for Transformation (TD)

In 1978 twelve agencies formed a network based on this vision: “all Christian relief and development professionals and agencies base their initiatives on biblical principles and work to re-engage the Church in holistic ministry among the poor and needy.” The network incorporated in 1978 as AERDO (The Association of Evangelical Relief and Development Organizations). In 2010, the membership of 75 agencies voted to change the name to Accord Network.

“At Accord Network we create a community where Christ-centered organizations, churches, and individuals leverage their combined learning to achieve the best in relief and development.

We help our members reach their full potential by operating in community—sharing knowledge, skills, and support with one another. Our members are not limited to their own learning curve—they have ready access to the collective knowledge of 75 organizations that collectively leverage over $4 billion of resources annually.

  • We create standards for high-quality work
  • We learn from each other
  • We advocate in Washington DC for effective development”

~ https://accord.x362.com/about

Accord Network has adopted eight principles of excellence in integral mission. Visit their website for more detail. As an exercise, propose indicators or rubrics for monitoring program planning and implementation against these eight principles.

  1. Our Christian faith is at the center of our identity, motive and manner of being.
  2. We acknowledge the reality and significance of the spiritual realm.
  3. The Church is central.
  4. Transformational practices start with us.
  5. We recognize the whole system of poverty.
  6. In our relationship journey with the church, our local partners, and the community, we enter as guests, co-labor as partners, and continue as friends.
  7. We support local communities and churches in measuring all that matters.
  8. We tell the story with integrity.

May reflection on these principles strengthen your ability to facilitate transformation through your ministry.

Becoming Aware of God’s Handiwork

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s handiwork [or workmanship], created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. NIV

My personal reflection (01/14/2017)

In 1965 I was drawn to program evaluation work by complex circumstances; at the time I envisioned myself as a researcher/scholar in the field of cognitive psychology. I applied my research skills to a few small evaluation tasks, but did not see myself as an evaluator.

There was a 15-year period between my initial work and accepting a position where I had major responsibility for evaluation. In that period I experienced a clear calling to serve the poor as a Christian. I knew in my heart that God had prepared me to be his servant; I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior; I did effective work in community development outside my research training. During that period I did one program evaluation and one year of institutional research; otherwise I saw myself as a facilitator of community development through the church.

Twenty years after my first evaluation exercise I was called to serve as an evaluator in a Christian relief and development organization. It took me months of prayer and consultation with my wife to say yes, for it meant giving up my vision of being a university researcher/scholar. For thirty years since that “yes” I have experienced being guided by the Holy Spirit in facilitating evaluation exercises of community development programs. For the past twenty years I have been guided by the Spirit and my spiritual disciplines in developing the theory and practice of what I call Transformative Evaluation (TE).

I humbly see myself as God’s handiwork, poetic workmanship, through guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit fulfilling, with many defects in attitudes and behavior, the divine plan for my life. I am grateful beyond words for God’s love, grace and mercy to be loving God and neighbor through developing TE.

Another kind of handiwork (10/30/2017)

Several years ago we decided to make a cat bathroom. I put linoleum on an unused closet floor for the litter pans. I tried to replace the molding so that it looked like it was done by a good carpenter, because I am not a good carpenter. I used a miter box to saw the ends; I drilled starter holes for the nails so that they were spaced evenly; I used a nail set and then spackled the nail heads; finally, I carefully painted the molding so that you could not see where it was fastened to the wall.

I did this as a spiritual exercise. No one will see it, except the cats and us when we change the litter. And God, who created me to do good works… not as a carpenter, but as a husband to do chores in a way that gives my wife pleasure. I am not a carpenter, but I can do small projects that cause someone to smile. I wonder what other good works God has prepared in advance for me to do?

Your personal reflection

I invite you to prayerfully reflect on your understanding of God’s handiwork in you, being open to prompting from the Holy Spirit.

Understanding Sustainable Community Development (TD)

This post is an exercise to facilitate understanding of community development sustainability from the perspective of an agency’s mission. During a workshop staff members can complete the exercise individually, and then the group can identify common threads in the responses and reflect on implications for programming. If there are major differences in responses, reflect on the underlying concepts and reasoning. Throughout the exercise participate in appropriate spiritual disciplines. Seek God’s wisdom in understanding this most important aspect of community development.

Exercise…100Understanding Sustainable Community Development exercise

Transformative Evaluation Overview–6 Slide Shows

This post contains links to six brief slide shows that provide orientation to the distinctive features of Transformative Evaluation. The shows are in PDF format.

94orientation1 TE overview…Brief description of each critical feature. Includes a group exercise to see if people in an agency want to explore implications for the agency.

94orientation2 core belief…Description of the core belief that justifies TE as an approach to evaluation for a Christian agency.

94orientation3 TE theory of program change…Description of the theory of change in individuals and institutions for transformation development, which is the primary evaluand for TE.

94orientation4 TE overview…Description of three critical features of objectivity in TE. There is a more detailed description of objectivity at objectivity-in-te.

94Orientation5 Mission Results in TE…Description of mission results that can be achieved through TE.

Orientation6 Spiritual Disciplines in TE…Description of use of spiritual disciplines in TE.

Search for other posts related to topics that interest you. As always, constructive critiques are welcome.

Ten Seed Technique (TST)

The ten seed technique is a participatory monitoring and evaluation tool that documents a group’s perceptions about a wide range of topics and issues. The attached file describes and illustrates the technique. Click the link → Ten Seed Technique

Search the site using keyword “ten seed” to see examples of TE indicators based on TST.

Review the post on evaluating TD outcomes to keep in mind the essential characteristics of TE.  Click the link → TE

Fuller Seminary Students

Posts for Fuller Seminary students are tagged Fuller. Some posts are specific to one class; they will be on the site for a few weeks and then removed. Most posts are permanent. Click on the red tag “Fuller” for recommended posts. This will yield a list of 13 posts on two pages.

Scroll down the search results to the post with links to 6 slide shows. Open the post and use the links to view the six slide shows that give orientation to the critical aspects of TE; then explore other posts according to your interest.

Before class on TE, April 19, 2017, write down three questions or ideas that you would like Frank to discuss.

Evaluation Model for TE

I have developed a general framework for comparing different approaches to evaluation. The framework is based on seven aspects of an evaluation exercise.  

Note February 2017. Click this link to see the framework; continue reading for an application of the framework to TE. Evaluation Model as a Concept

In this paper I describe those seven aspects of a particular approach to evaluating a transformational community development program that I call transformative evaluation (TE). I also contrast the TE description with the analogous aspects found in some other approaches to evaluation. There may be common features between approaches but I emphasize those features that set TE apart from other approaches.

 My model for TE is not carved in stone. Each time I prepare it the result can differ in some aspects from previous presentations. But the seven elements of the framework remain constant. In April 2015 my summary of the model is:

 Transformative evaluation examines transformational community development programs. The primary focus for TE is to facilitate deeper understanding of what really matters in community development, with emphasis on development programs as a vehicle for facilitating individual and social transformation from within a Christian worldview. Primary stakeholders, including representatives of faith groups in the community, participate with the evaluator in making major decisions throughout the exercise. The evaluation design and implementation are consistent with a constructivist paradigm for inquiry along with principles for thinking and acting holistically.

This file describes the TE model in detail.  LINK: 78Evaluation Model for TE for evalFrank2

This file is cited in the detailed file for the model. LINK: http://evalfrank.com/2014/11/frame-for-thinking-about-te/

Christian First Practitioner Second (2)

I had the privilege of talking about being Christian first and science practitioner second at the winter conference of the Southern California chapter of the American Scientific Affiliation on February 7 2015.

Here are the links to the materials that I prepared for the presentation.

Presentation Paper → Christian First Practitioner Second

Presentation Slides → Christian First Practitioner Second slides

List of worldview books and internet sites → worldview reading

Comments welcome!

Role of Worldview in Evaluation Work

Clarifying one’s worldview is essential for the transformative evaluator who believes in being Christian first and evaluator second. The attached file emerged as I clarified my worldview. Currently I am reading several texts that may lead to further clarification, perhaps revision. I encourage you to spend a significant amount of time doing something similar.

The focus of the document is an examination of major scientific concepts related to evaluation work from a Christian perspective. I welcome suggestions and challenges.

Click LINK Worldview in Evaluation

Click category Worldview at the right for other worldview posts.