Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Twitter Discussion

Yesterday morning Bishop Pete Broadbent posted a Twitter link to a blog post he had written which included a paragraph - twenty quick fixes the Church of England could do now. I read it and thought it was rather good. I re-tweeted it.

I then spent the day, on and off, in a discussion with some people who didn't think it was very good. I've been struggling to understand their position ever since. You will see from the correspondence, which I am going to have a go at transcribing below, that at one point I got a bit frustrated and gave a silly answer to a silly question.

If you want to follow it you really have no choice but to read the Broadbent post first. It is here and point eight is the key one with the twenty ideas listed. If anyone wants any of the initialisms explained please leave a comment. BMO is Bishop's Mission Order.

Really? I didn't feel bashed by it. What hurt?
Comments more than article, but handed out the ammo with remark on "under performing" clergy needing to be got rid of.
you want to keep the under-performers?
you point them out to me and then let's discuss it...
I am not in a position to review clergy performance. But a bishop is.
I don't think a Bishop has any more idea of what "performance" means for clergy than I do, except by the crudest measures
. The clergy role is simply not one to which the word "performance" applies in any sensible way
Oh I expect there'll be lots of 'performance markers' like running Alpha courses and Messy Churches
See, I'm underperforming already!
(I think this means 'Which bishop is in a position to review? - ed)
How about celebrating the Eucharist, baptizing people, and preaching sermons?
Yes, but *good* sermons or poor ones? We are judging *performance* here, not just activity...

Maybe we could bring Ofsted in

I think knickers are being twisted here. If you take an ontological view of priesthood OK. I don't.
(Ontological meaning it is more about being than doing, the opposite of which would be a functional view - ed)
I take a very *un*-ontological view! Still don't think clergy performance can be measured meaningfully.

Yes, you can measure *activity* but anything beyond that is either subjective or spurious
hope it isn't me making you angry, but ontological view cannot easily be counted. Functional can.
No, not you! What measures of clergy performance would you use & how assess contribution of congregation(s)?
anything that can be counted. It's all we got. 360 performance review and detailed report & discussion.
Measuring performance indicators ALWAYS makes people skew workload towards what's being measured
So in this model an 'activist' concept of ministry takes precedent over any other form of priesthood
That may work if you can afford to pay for absolutely all ministry, if you can't, it's cloud cuckoo land
you measure as much as possible. Maybe 'more people seeking opportunities for quiet and sacred space.'
Measurements like that are fairly easy to game (sic) - saw it in prison chaplaincy where regime hours are measured
Pam is there any sense in which you feel people should be held to account? Professionals or volunteers?
Look at my bio. What do you think?
(Her bio on Twitter says:)
Virtual vicar. Ex prison chaplain, teacher, health service. Into politics, TV, socmedia. Will follow back, but don't auto follow. I unfollow trolls.
  You have had to cope with a lot of review in your life and have been wounded by it?
Do you normally assume people who disagree with you are either ignorant or psychologically unstable?
That's what I thought, just checking
It's hard to follow Twitter streams without a hashtag. Later I will the (sic) to transcribe yesterday's conversation and post it to blog for you.

but reading back through today I haven't disagreed with anyone, just asked questions.
I'm going to wade in. There are more ways to evaluate than counting the quantifiable.
we've known the value of qualitative, narrative evaluation for long time in youthwork.

appraisls and reviews drew heavily on case study, story, 'distance traveled', not just counting.


Anonymous said...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Who evaluates the evaluators?

The flaw in the evaluation model is that the bishops aren't up to it.

Caroline Too said...

Fourth generation or Realist evaluation methods, wouldn't leave it to bishops or any hierarchy figures, but groups accountable to each other, evaluating not just the people but the ideas behind actions. Not sure that I would count things st... but I would want to have evaluative conversations to explore where we go next...

Steve Tilley said...

So if you were charged with growing a church numerically and it shrunk would that not be part of the evaluative evidence?