I am part of the ministers review committee for my church. Last night we had our final review with them for the year. It was tough. I like both of our ministers, which makes reviewing their performance very tricky. I don't know how many of you out there are ministers or participate in a minister review process, but it is a fine line. How do you set concrete goals, when the job can change daily? How do you review a person's people skills when a lot of their work is confidential? There aren't any strict Unitarian minister "guidelines". We are congregationaly based, so they job/responsibilities can vary greatly. Each minister signs a covenant with the congregation when they begin their call. This outlines the congregations expectations of them, and their expectations of the congregation. Unfortunately, they tend to be very generalized. Thus, very difficult to review.
As part of the committee, I try really hard to gauge what the congregation is feeling about our ministers. Some of it is great, some of it not. How do you balance that? What do you say when 80% of the congregation is feeling satisfied with the ministers, but the core 20% are not? Does that constitute and ministerial problem? Are expectations too high? Can we really expect the ministers to be everywhere all the time? Is that humanly possible?
I have spent a lot of time lately trying to figure out what I would want from my minister. I know I would want someone who generally seems to care about me and my family. I would want someone who can create a community where other people want to belong to and participate in. This doesn't seem too hard. Now multiply that by 500 (the number of people in our congregation), and now it doesn't seem too easy. Being a minister is a hard job, but, to me, as long as they appeared to be listening and trying, then I will cut them a little more slack.