Some years ago I was on the Personnel Committee for our church, which meant that I was involved in pastor and staff evaluations.
I expressed my frustration at the qualitative nature of the forms we used. How many people went on this trip, how many attended those classes, how many participated in this book group?
Was even one of those great number of people changed? I asked. Was anyone's faith deepened, did anyone learn something new, has anyone made any new plans or commitments, as a consequence of anything that happened here? Has anyone's life changed?
I'm hopeful that the answer to each of those questions was Yes, but we had no way of knowing for certain. Others agreed with me about the limitations of our methodology, but had no more in the way of solutions than I did.
A few days ago, someone told me that making the Ignatian Exercises has "made my experience of prayer 3-D."
Now, I didn't have anything much to do with that. I showed up for 35-40 weeks and provided materials and suggestions, but it was pretty much someone else's work.
I have now, however, discovered a standard for evaluation.