The Rule of Rubrics

Creativity, Podcast

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Perhaps most would agree that thirty years ago there was no such thing as rubrics. Oh, there was evaluation, but other than a potential list of requirements for that upcoming project or paper, there was no way to determine what the score might be…until it showed up graded! The students waited in great expectation to find out whether their science project was passing or failing, and when the grade was returned it was accompanied by a sigh of relief or a deep knot in the stomach.  In today’s education world, every project or paper comes with a rubric attached so that there is no guessing game on how the points will be awarded. After all, every student must know just how the final score will be affected by failing to adhere to every required component. Rubrics now rule the educational and business world, and they just might serve the church environment too!

Why have rubrics become so popular? We humans sure do like to know what to expect when it comes to tasks, assessments, and evaluations. There is great value in assessing the task at hand, and it sure is helpful to see concrete evidence of where one could have made improvements. Nobody wants a score without some feedback!

In the church world, it is time to assess where the church is in fulfilling the unfinished task to reach the unreached. It is time to determine if churches are Great Commission churches or not. Although there was a big push several years ago to become a missional church, that may have come at the expense of being a church focused on missions. If this is the task according to Matthew 28:19-20, how can the church assess whether she is fulfilling the requirements? Where is the rubric? Who can evaluate the performance?

Pastors may not be aware that there are organizations that assist with this type of assessment. The business world, the educational world, and the medical field all have consultants serving their respective areas, but is there really such a thing as a missions consulting organization? The answer is a resounding yes! Well, if these organizations exist, they must charge a lot of money, right? The answer is a resounding no!

Specifically dealing with the topic of rubrics, there are several organizations who have developed models that the church can use to assess her missions focus. One particular tool that is currently free as this article goes to press is called the Church Missions Profile. This tool allows the pastor, staff, missions leaders in the church, etc. to evaluate and assess the church in twelve different categories of church missions ministry development. The designated test-taker or test-takers can sign in online, answer some questions that allow the taker to score the church at various levels, and then receive immediate feedback with potential solutions for improvement. The profile itself is the rubric, and the score provides the fair evaluation. Your church leaders can determine whether missions is simply a possibility or whether it sits at the passion level because various aspects are woven into the DNA of the church. Making assessments on categories such as biblical foundations, congregational education, short-term missions, and missions strategy allow the test-takers to see just how broad a local church missions ministry truly can be.  This tool will soon cost a small fee, but at press time, it is still FREE!

The scoring grid is there because the rubric has been established, and the evaluator just needs to find the assessment box that best fits! If your church is seeking to assess where you are in your efforts to be following the Great Commission, reaching the nations, and spreading the Gospel, this tool is one example that can be useful to you. The rubric is there…how will your church score?

Introduction to Church Missions Profile Tool

Pastors and church leaders will find the Church Missions Profile on the website of Propempo International. The mission of Propempo is to come alongside churches to develop an effective, biblical, local church-centered missions ministry. The church can become better equipped to prepare, send, and shepherd workers for strategic cross-cultural church planting.  Due to staff that raise support in order to serve churches in this way, there is no fees schedule to receive assessments or consultations.

 Kirsten McClain serves as Assistant to the Executive Director for Propempo International. She has been serving churches and mission agencies for the last 20 years. She has a heart to see the church realize her potential in missions and is driven to be a mobilizer to this end. She lives in Georgia with her husband and three children, and she is ready to direct pastors to the various resources that Propempo uses to come alongside churches so that they can do missions well.

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