Monthly Archives: March 2013

Muse: ‘Behold, I stand at the door …’

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By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

BATON ROUGE, La. – Easter is one of the most sacred holidays to Christians.

On March 31, take a moment and remember the reason we celebrate it. I remember Easter Sundays vividly growing up. It wasn’t the Easter egg

Muse

Muse

hunt after service, but the message of His death, burial, and resurrection.

With a change in priorities by many people, it is important to continue to tell the story of Jesus beyond Easter. As believers, we must be consistent and resonate that message because it is His death that we are saved.

According to Revelation 3:20, the author said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (ESV).

No matter how we live our lives, Jesus is the door. To make any strides to get to heaven, it goes through Him. Therefore, we have to learn all we need to know about Him and teach His words to the next generation. If Easter means dressing up to the 9s and Easter baskets, we are doing the Lord and our children a great disservice. Be accurate and tell the truth. The secular word has tried its hardest to take Him out of the holiday (Christmas too). Believers won’t deny Him.

If you take a look at the sacrifice He made for us, we don’t need flashlight Christians. These are the people who cut His word on when they want to cut it on. Instead of flicking His word on and off, become a spotlight for God. My favorite scripture on this is 2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

He didn’t die for Himself. He died for all mankind.

Grelan Muse Sr. is founder of Inside The Pew. Email him at pewnews@aol.com.

Ellis: Life is worth living because our Redeemer lives

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By Bill Ellis
Special to ASSIST News Service

SCOTT DEPOT, W.V. – Centuries bring unbelievable changes to human life. What there is to know about life has grown with quantum leaps Bill Ellisfrom one century to another.

One nagging question existed before Job gave it verbal significance centuries ago, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14).

Life would be dismal and bleak if it abruptly ended with no hope for anything beyond. Charles W. Koller, brilliant author, world famous teacher of preachers and seminary president said, “Death is not the end of life – only an incident along the way of everlasting life.”

In 1999, I listened to Gary Coffey, chaplain of the Putnam General Hospital, Hurricane, W.V., deliver an inspiring message which he titled, “Live as though He’s risen”, based on Luke 24:1-12. He was speaking primarily to hospital personnel, and those who do all they can to alleviate suffering and bring people back to good health.

Speaking of the problems we may face in life, Gary said, “When faced with the most difficult situations, what we said we believe is no longer what we expect.” He followed with this story.

“How different were the Jews who were hunted during the reign of Nazi terrorism. Written on the walls of their secret refuge underneath the Cologne Cathedral (Germany) were these words: ‘I believe in the dawn, even though it be dark; I believe in God, even though He be silent.’ “This is resurrection faith.

Being nailed to a cross, as Jesus was, and remaining there until death came was the common way for criminals to die. That was their sentence after being found guilty of crime. It was a torturous death. A terrible way to come to the end of life. No wonder Job and others wanted to know, “Is there anything more? Is this how it all ends?”

Easter is celebrated annually as the “day of days, the queen of Christian festivals.” It is never earlier than March 22 or later than April 25. It is only mentioned once in the Bible, in the King James Version. Most other versions refer to the day as Passover.

King Herod was persecuting the church. He had killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. He put Peter in jail, “Intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people” (Acts 12:4).

Easter is not only the most important of all Christian days, but it is also the oldest of the Christian festivals. St. Paul writes, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast” (I Corinthians 5:7-8).

In every country of the world, Easter is celebrated in the hearts and minds of believers. In some places, it cannot be done openly and freely as it is in America.

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ takes the sting out of death, the victory out of the grave. Bill and Gloria Gaither, our good friends of 60 years, wrote in one of their songs: “Because He lives I can face tomorrow, Because He lives all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives.”

If you want to know more about living forever and the resurrection, read John, chapters 11 and 20 and I Corinthians 15 in the New Testament.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest fact of history. In fact, all history as we know it, is dated on the authority of His resurrection.

I want to live forever. That hope is assured through my faith in Jesus Christ. It is guaranteed by His resurrection. With St. Paul I can say, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57).

Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist, and convention and conference speaker on every continent. He is the writer of more than 2,000 newspaper and magazine columns, articles and contributions to books. He is also a widely known motivational speaker and pulpit guest who utilizes enjoyment of life and just plain fun and laughter while speaking to high school, university and professional sports teams as well as to business and professional groups of all kinds. His keen understanding of human problems makes him a favorite speaker for youth, parent, and senior adult meetings. He is accompanied by Kitty, his wife, favorite singer, editor and publisher.

 

Children’s Bible app soon available in multiple languages

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By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

Easter is just around the corner, and 4Soils is doing its part to make sure children all around the world can learn about the

Thanks to generous donations, the 4Soils' Bible Heroes app will be able to translate their biblically bases apps into multiple languages.

Thanks to generous donors, the 4Soils’ Bible Heroes app will be able to translate its biblically based apps into multiple languages.

life of our Savior.

Lusi Chien, founder of the series of Bible Heroes apps, announced last week the children’s Bible app producer has reached the initial goal of raising $5,000 in its Kickstarter campaign.

“Only 6 percent of the world speaks English but many children don’t know the love of Jesus,” Chien said. “Help us change that by allowing us to reach them via our apps. Currently, the 4Soils apps have been already downloaded in more than 90 countries around the world.”

The $5,000 raised will allow for 4Soils to translate the eight apps into one language, one app into eight languages, or several apps into several languages.

Because of its success, Chien said the company has adjusted its goal and is aiming to raise another $5,000 to translate 10 more apps, bringing the total to 18 apps.

“This has been a project that’s near and dear to our hearts.  Ever since we launched, people have asked us if we planned on making it available in their language, and our answer has been we’d love to but we just don’t have the resources right now.  We’re looking for others who want to join us as “sowers” to get the seeds of truth out to children everywhere!”

With $5,000, Chien said 4Soils can modify the programming infrastructure of the company’s two series of apps to allow for multiple languages. Bible Heroes includes the stories of Noah, David, Daniel, Jonah, Esther, and Joseph. Life of Jesus features His virgin birth, baptism, miracles, the last supper, and resurrection. Chien said the last two apps in the Life of Jesus series will be available by Easter. Furthermore, the funds raised will allow 4Soils to translate a total of eight apps in several languages. 4Soils is not only looking for funding to translate the apps, but also volunteers to help with the translation, narration, and marketing in various countries, which will bring the cost down and allow for more translations.

A successful campaign for Kickstarter rests on backers meeting 100 percent of 4Soils’ funding amount. Therefore, if the funding goal is not met, Kickstarter will not secure funds from backers’ payment choice. It is all or nothing. Every dollar counts, and pledge amounts are never displayed to the public unless a backer does so themselves.

Pledeges will be accepted through April 2. To make a pledge for the 4Soils campaign, visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/4soils/telling-the-greatest-story-ever-toldto-the-world.

 

1st English-language biography of Pope Francis set for release

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By Tonya Andris
Inside The Pew

The world learned on March 13 who was elected as the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. For those who desire to learn more about Pope Francis, the moment is just around the corner. Matthew Bunson, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology at St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology in Steubenville, Ohio, has written the first English-language biography on Pope Francis.

The book’s publisher, Our Sunday Visitor, announced March 22 the book, titled “Pope Francis” ($16.95 USD), will arrive in bookstores on April 10. The book is available for pre-order through Our Sunday Visitor.

Considering a leading authority in the United States on the papacy and the church, Bunson also wrote the first English-language of Pope Francis’

"Pope Francis" by Matthew Bunson

“Pope Francis” by Matthew Bunson

predecessor, Benedict XVI.

The 224-page book is split into three parts to allow readers to get an idea of how and why Pope Francis of Buenos Aires, Argentina, selected and what his selection means for the Catholic Church. First, Bunson puts forth a comprehensive analysis of the unprecedented final days of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. Second, Bunson provides an enlightening perspective on the interregnum and the biggest issues facing the Cardinals as they headed into the conclave. Third, Bunson dedicates more than 150 pages to Pope Francis including:

  • His family history as son of an immigrant railway worker;
  • His active, social youth where he experienced firsthand the challenges of a society ravaged by war, economic despair and cultural unrest;
  • A Jesuit priest, trained as a chemist, who even as a cardinal was referred to as Father Jorge;
  • His work as a priest, bishop and Cardinal in the very unique setting of Buenos Aires where he navigated politics, extreme poverty and high culture;
  • His reputation as a man of the people who lived simply, cooked his own meals, and rode the bus.

With its research conducted in five different languages into the lives and ministries of the world’s leading Cardinals, their backgrounds, writings and homilies, “Pope Francis” shows why Cardinal Bergoglio was ultimately elected as the Catholic Church’s pope.

Bunson is the author of more than 45 books, including “The Pope Encyclopedia,” “The Encyclopedia of Catholic History,” and the soon-to-be-released “Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History.”

Maggio: Starting a single moms ministry in your church

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By Jennifer Maggio
Special to Inside The Pew

BATON ROUGE, La. – With almost 15 million single parents in the country today, many churches are beginning to focus on the need to minister

Jennifer Maggio

Jennifer Maggio

to single parents more effectively. Our organization is elated to be part of that journey. We receive tons of questions about how to minister to the needs of single parents in a more effective, creative, long-term way. We believe one of those ways is through a single moms support group. It provides long-term discipleship, beyond simply an outreach, an event, or a meal.

For those who have not started a single moms support group in your church, here are a few things you may want to know.  For those who have started a group and are frustrated with the lack of growth or possible issues within the group, read on. We’ll try to help you with those questions, too.

Before I launched The Life of a Single Mom Ministries, I was fortunate enough to work with my local church. This has allowed me to gain great wisdom and insight on what does and does not work within the walls of the church on ministering to single mothers. There is very, very little resource material on the market for single parent ministries and the little that is out there is often written by someone who has yet to be in the trenches running a successful program.  (It’s kinda like buying a parenting book from someone who hasn’t parented).

Here are a few things we’ve learned that may help you in your single moms ministry endeavor:

  1. Recognize that not every single mom is a “churched” divorced single mom. Less than 1 percent of the 300,000 Christian churches in the country have single parent support groups. The few that do often focus on the single moms that are already in their church. This is a big problem, in light of the fact that only 33% of single moms attend church. In order to grow your support group, you must focus on reaching those outside your church.
  2. Teach relevant material. In my work with helping to grow single parent groups, one of the first things we do is change the teaching material. Many of the groups are teaching deep Bible studies on the book of Ruth, the Proverbs 31 woman, etc. While these are excellent teaching tools for the future, focusing on deep Bible study, when a single mom’s life is potentially falling apart (financially, emotionally, and with her parenting skills) is not a timely message.
  3. Meet at a time that is convenient for the momFriday nights, Saturday nights, or Sunday afternoons tend to work best. Moms who are parenting school-age children have homework to contend with. Wednesday nights tend to be most convenient for the church, as childcare workers are already available, but this is probably not the best time for the mothers. And if you want to begin to reach outside the walls of the church to bring in mothers who aren’t yet connected, offering a more convenient meeting time is critical. In addition, a full work-week tends to make a single mom’s support group a daunting task, not a welcomed break … but if you meet on a weekend, she is more relaxed and open to receive new friendships and experiences.

There are a ton of tips that we have found work, but this gives you a brief start. Having said all that, recognize that groups do not grow overnight. Be diligent and faithful with the women you have! You may also be interested in The Church and the Single Mom Resource Kit that offers a comprehensive resource for answering all single parent ministry questions, training new volunteers, growing the ministry, effective discipleship, logistics, and so much more. For more information, visit  http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com/.

 

Rawles: Cautions for seniors seeking to re-enter workplace

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By David Rawles
Special to Inside The Pew

As the baby boomers enter into retirement and then come out again to return to work, it is quite clear there is no more work for most of them. That is what I keep hearingDavid Rawles from the boomers and older retirees who attend our job seeker workshops and seminars.

They are wrong! The message I try to convey is that many seniors are getting and holding down good jobs, responsible jobs. And I have learned over the years, even as I approach senior status, that many times age is not really the issue. But I am ahead of myself.

Many older workers need to sell to employers the things that many employers really desire in their employees. Things like mature thinking, responsible behavior, and wisdom are important traits to be flown high on one’s flag pole of accomplishments. Employers will often value an older worker’s experience in problem solving, and the consistent attendance and punctuality which demonstrates one’s ability to fulfill a commitment. Out of a mature employee’s experience they can share the wisdom that only experience can teach.

There are a few caution flags for those seniors who intend to pursue employment once again. For many smaller employers – the non-Fortune 500 employers – hiring managers are often blind to chronological age. It is not about physical age, exactly. It is about one’s ability to behave in spite of one’s physical age. It is about one’s mental age.  Demonstrating vitality, enthusiasm, energy and interest is key to getting hired.

Many older workers are rejected for jobs not because they are old, but because they act like the stereotypical older worker. If one hopes to be seen as a valuable employee, they must position themselves as one who learns like a twenty-something. Show how you are willing to take additional education, or learn new technologies, or venture into new territory.

It is also advisable for the older worker to position themselves as submissive to authority. Many older workers are viewed as know-it-alls, hard to manage, and impossible to lead. They appear arrogant to the younger leaders in an organization. It is this perceived arrogance that stands in the way of many an older candidate trying to land a good job. Telling one’s future boss you know more than they do will not likely land one the job.

David Rawles is devoting his life to helping others achieve significance. After a 31 year corporate career in HR, David founded CareerSolutions, a non-profit devoted to helping people locate, land, and succeed in their careers. He is an author, speaker and radio host. See www.careersolutionsworkshop.org.

UK graphic designer refused job because of his Christian faith

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By Peter Wooding
Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service

COLCHESTER, ENGLAND (ANS)A graphic designer is suing a hotel in Colchester, England after claiming he was turned down for a job there because he is a Christian.

Jamie Haxby

Jamie Haxby

According to an article in the Daily Mail newspaper, 24-year-old Jamie Haxby was invited for an interview with Prested Hall Hotel after applying for a job to design the venue’s advertising and promotional material.

But after discovering that he was a Christian, manager Celie Parker said that he could not be considered for the role because his beliefs would upset atheist employees.

Haxby is now taking his case for religious discrimination to the East London Employment Tribunal, and will be supported by the Christian Institute.

Spokesman Mike Judge said: “Jamie’s case is shocking, and shows that discrimination against Christians is getting more brazen.

“There’s no place for this anti-Christian intolerance at the hands of aggressive atheists. It’s high time the government took the issue more seriously.”

The Daily Mail went on to report Haxby said the interview was going well until Parker saw his portfolio which contained samples of work that he had done for his local church and a Christian charity.

She subsequently apologized for wasting Haxby’s time, and commented that both she and other employees were atheists who could not work with a committed Christian.

“Everything was going well, and I felt happy with how the interview was progressing. Parker made several comments about the high standard of my work and how talented I was,” he said.

“However, just over halfway through looking over my portfolio, Celie stopped me and said she did not think we needed to go any further. “My heart slightly sank as I could tell there was something she did not like. She then explained that she thought my work was brilliant, but that she and others on her team were atheists.

“She said that judging from my work I was clearly a committed Christian, and I understood from what she was saying that it would be very difficult for me to work there.

“I could hardly believe what I was hearing. I felt upset and angry.”

Haxby explained that his faith should not influence the hotel’s decision as to whether or not to offer him the post.

“She just said not to take it personally, but that it wouldn’t be sensible and that it wouldn’t work, or words to that effect,” he added.

“She also expressed regret over ever asking me to the interview and apologized for wasting my time. But I was feeling increasingly distressed and upset.

“I then said there was no way that this was right in equal opportunities Britain and that everyone should have an equal chance at getting a job.

The hotel has denied discriminating against Haxby on the basis of his religious beliefs, and has said that the job was given to another more experienced candidate.

“The current climate of intolerance towards Christianity has led to a number of Christian individuals being barred from different areas of public life and employment. The European Court of Human Rights recently ruled against three Christians, Lillian Ladele, Gary McFarlane and Shirley Chaplin, who were all penalized for expressing their beliefs in the workplace, said Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern.

“The law needs to be re-visited urgently to ensure that it provides a basis for the full and active involvement of Christians in community life, whilst upholding the freedom of Christians to practice their beliefs in the public sphere without facing detriment.”

Robertson: Evening with King inspires me to live my dream

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By Anita Jannell-Robertson
Special to Inside The Pew

BATON ROUGE, La. – “I have a dream. So I’d die for it, so much so that I actually live for it.”

Alveda King – niece of the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. – was the keynote speaker at an elegant event where I recently had the privilege of serving as guest recording

Anita Jarrell-Robertson meets with Alveda King during a fundraising banquet  for Women's Health Center in Baton Rouge on March 1.

Anita Jarrell-Robertson meets with Alveda King during a fundraising banquet for Women’s Health Center in Baton Rouge on March 1.

artist for the evening on March 1 at The Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge, La.

The Women’s Help Center hosted its 15th annual fundraising banquet to help support families in the Baton Rouge community. The center  has been providing services to more than 30,000 women experiencing unplanned and/or crisis pregnancies for nearly 20 years.

Moved to tears on several occasions throughout the evening, I dedicated my hit song, “Even Me” to Alveda King and anyone else in the audience who had either had an abortion or been accomplice to one. Little did I know King had planned to base much of her presentation on the controversial pro-life topic, including her own heart-penetrating testimony about the perils of abortion and its effects on the family and community.

Alveda C. King serves as a Pastoral Associate and Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. She is also a voice for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a member of the National Black Pro-Life Coalition, and a former college professor and member of the Georgia State House of Representatives.

Beyond sharing about how difficult it was to grow up in the historical shadow of her grandfather (a powerful minister), father (a civil rights activist the Rev. A.D. King) and her uncle (MLK), Alveda King reminded us all to let our light shine and to remember that it wasn’t so little after all. She told us that every time she shared her story, she got a little more healing. She talked about a lyric in my song, “Even Me,” and that gripped my soul – “the exchange at the Cross is mighty to save.”

Was she really referencing my music?  It was a life-altering experience, a real game changer because I am a Christian recording artist with fans in several countries on all seven continents. Would I have been able to do that as comfortably if it had not been for the selfless contribution of Dr. King and her family?  Probably not.

What about the other unsung heroes? My grandfathers. One was a sharecropper who demanded that my father “leave this place boy, ain’t got nothin’ for ya here.” My father went on to be a military veteran, business man, and a pastor.  My other grandfather was a civil rights activist himself, who feared for his life as he hosted and attended secret meetings for black farmers across the South in a time when it was almost a sin for blacks to be farmers in their own right. His daughter, my mother, is one of the strongest women I’ve ever met, beautiful and brilliant. My mother continues to run with seeming ease and integrity the business my father began long before his death.

Taken from my song, “Even Me,” “You will pour water on the soul who is thirsty…flood upon the dry ground.  And You’ll pour Your Spirit on the seed of the righteous.  Your blessings are flowing now!  So I pour my soul out to You!  And You pour Your soul out to me!!  The exchange at the Cross, Lord, I believe . . . is mighty to save- even me.”  On his death bed, my father’s eyes softened as I sang to him.  My heart is sore only because I wish he had been there to witness Dr. King mentoring me after the event before both our tables were crowded with fans and well wishers.

In retrospect, Dr. Alveda King’s statement to me is one I will carry in my heart forever, “Anita, there is a new sound of worship in the earth and it’s you.  Your music transcends realms.”  Realms?  Not just races?  Not just genders?  Not just religions?  Realms?  Well, amen.  I receive that.  Do you?

I always wondered what it would be like to meet Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Always wondered what it would be like to be in the presence of such greatness.  Well, being with his niece fulfilled that curiosity.  Her essence caused us all to erupt in applause after her address.  The applause I received after my songs “Even Me” and “Future Generations” were graciously received, but I would have paid to just package that applause and give it to an elder soldier, Dr. King.  Getting to know her for a moment, I believe she would have just given it right back.

Applause is a kind gesture, but for those of us who believe we are called by God to affect nations, generations, realms even, applause belongs to the One who called us, who mercifully empowers us on a daily basis to be who we are in Him.

Anita Jarrell-Robertson, a native of Dallas and resident of Baton Rouge, is a contemporary Christian recording artist. Visit her website at www.anitaworships.com. Email her at booking@anitaworships.com. Find Anita on Facebook and on Twitter @anitaworships.

Stone: Five marks of a kingdom builder

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By Melanie Stone
Special to Inside The Pew

People that help start and grow churches are kingdom builders. They are men and women working together to expand the kingdom of Jesus Christ. In I Corinthians 3:1-17, Melanie_StonePaul compares church planting and pastoring to constructing a building. In verse 9 Paul says, “We are God’s fellow workers… you are God’s building.”

A Kingdom Builder has God’s heart and vision to reach more people. My husband, Jerry Stone, and I have a vision to support church planters and pastors through Grow Churches, Inc. (www.growchurches.com). We believe the best way to reach the world is through starting and serving life-giving local churches in nations around the world. People who want to build the kingdom of God want to see new churches in communities that will reach out to the lost and the hurting and bring them to salvation and wholeness.

Kingdom builders realize they are part of something bigger than themselves. Christians with a kingdom building mentality realize that the Church that belongs to Jesus Christ is bigger than their local church; it goes beyond their city, their state, and their nation. The kingdom of God is larger than it has ever been in history. There is a growing sense of Christ’s return, and the importance of winning souls is intensifying.

A Kingdom Builder has Jesus as his King. Jesus is what we all have in common in the family of God. When Jesus is the Lord of someone’s life, that person will not only listen to Christ, they also will obey Him. Their motivation to serve Christ’s cause in building His kingdom is the love that men and women have for Him.

A Kingdom Builder wants to see development. We once lived next to a plot of land where someone was building a new home. We enjoyed watching the process. We saw the foundation laid, the electrical system put in, the framework go up and the roof and walls put on. When people participate in church planting, I believe they enjoy watching the development process. It’s fun to take the journey together. It’s exciting to see the grace of God meeting every challenge and every need as we move forward. We get to build the kingdom of God together.

A Kingdom Builder wants to see results. We like to share the stories of the people who receive Christ, who find friendships, who receive wholeness and healing, who find strength their marriage and families, who find a place to serve, and who find freedom! When a kingdom builder sees lives being changed, they want to be a part of it.

I want to encourage you to think beyond your boundaries and see the work that still needs to be done. Decide to be a kingdom builder and do all you can to advance the kingdom of God through planting and growing local churches.

Melanie Stone is a co-pastor, church planter, author, speaker, and Bible teacher. Together with her husband, Jerry Stone, they have founded Grow Churches, Inc. as a ministry to serve and resource churches in nations around the globe. Melanie and Jerry also are planting Freedom House Church in Lexington, Ky., in September 2013. Melanie is a graduate from Rhema Bible Training Center and has a Bachelor of Theology degree from Life Christian University. She has ministered in churches across the United States as well as in Great Britain, Colombia, Mexico, and Canada.

Rawles: Eliminating annual performance reviews isn’t answer

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By David Rawles
Special to Inside The Pew

Performance Reviews – Are they good for you or bad for you? Are they a complete waste of time?

According to an article I recently read, the author flatly stated the traditional annual performance appraisal needs to be replaced because it doesn’t improve performance. David RawlesThat seems akin to saying that if a car you own proves to be a lemon, you ought not drive cars anymore, rather get a moped, or take the bus.

We don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Rather, we need to fix the appraisal process when it is broken. We think it right for teachers to correct a student’s poor performance. We coach members of athletic teams when outcomes are unsuccessful. It seems successful behavior modification is based the quality of the appraisal process, not because an appraisal is or isn’t used.

A successful appraisal process includes several critical elements:

  • Equal participation by both the supervisor and the supervised.
  • Clear understanding up front, of the expected behaviors and results.
  • Regular communication discussing progress during the year.
  • Time & privacy is allotted to fully discuss the metrics, results and expectations.
  • Agreement on what changes will be expected in the future.

Equal participation simply provides for the supervisor to fully understand what the subordinates believe they have done well and not so well. When I had a large staff, I often reminded each member that they were far better informed about many of their behaviors and results than I was, being they were with themselves constantly. By allowing subordinate participation, supervisors becomes better informed, enable themselves confirmation of their beliefs, and learn better what future corrections may be necessary.

The beginning of the appraisal period should be marked by the establishment of goals and expected outcomes and results. These need to be agreed upon by both parties. Experience has taught me that when subordinates take the lead in this process, and understand the supervisors own goals, most subordinates will set aggressive, supportive objectives.

If the subordinate is surprised at the end of the appraisal period by the views of the supervisor, it is the fault of the supervisor. Performance should be regularly discussed. Disappointments should be shared. And if goals need to be revised, up or down, both parties should not wait until year-end. That never helps the performance or the relationship.

At the end of the performance period the appraisal discussion should be scheduled allowing plenty of time to talk through all issues, in a location without interruptions. Cutting corners on this meeting can have a negative effect on the following year’s performance. And if the allotted time is not enough, the flexibility to schedule a second follow-on session is very helpful.

Finally, once both parties can then agree what needs to be changed, what goals are to be achieved during the next performance period, and what improvements, if any, are expected, it is much more likely performance will be improved and both parties will be pleased.

David Rawles is an HR Executive devoting his life to helping others achieve significance. He is the founder and president of CareerSolutions, a Christian non-profit organization devoted to helping people locate, land, and succeed in their careers. More info at www.careersolutionsworkshop.org.

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