Assessing our work

The Bible has many examples of occasions when people’s lives and activities are examined, usually for the purpose of strengthening their relationships with God.

Read Genesis 1: 31

We are told that, ‘God saw all that he had made and it was very good’. After working for six days, God looked back at what he had done and saw everything he had made. This was clearly an assessment of his handiwork. Having satisfied himself that all he had made was very good, he rested on the seventh day. The first activity that took place in the world was thus evaluated.

  • If God who is all powerful, perfect and holy, assessed his work, what does this mean for us who are his followers and children? Discuss how and how often we should look back at our work.

Read Lamentations 3:40

God’s people are encouraged to examine their ways and test them in order to return to a good relationship with God. The act of examining and testing our ways is essentially evaluation.

  • Should Christians, either as individuals or organisations, wait for an outsider to come and examine them? Or is this something we should do for ourselves? Discuss how evaluation will help us to know whether we are really doing God’s will.

Read 2 Timothy 4:7-8

The apostle Paul was able to say with confidence that he had kept the faith and finished all that God had asked of him.

  • Why was he so sure of himself? Are you able to look back over your life in such a positive way? What is the reward that is in store for us?

Many churches and development projects do not evaluate their work unless there is some problem, crisis or a request from a donor agency. Evaluation requested from donors can be seen as a lack of trust and viewed with suspicion. However, it is apparent that this is not the biblical perspective. Christians need to see evaluation as something positive that we should do ourselves for our own benefit to help us live our lives in the way God wants us to. It will also help us to avoid making serious mistakes.

Danladi Musa is a Regional Advisor for Tearfund based in Jos, Nigeria. He was Executive Secretary of CRUDAN for many years.