Part 1: Performance Reviews, and Other Troublesome Stuff

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In the last thread on psychological assessment, Theresa, you made regular comments about some things are more of a concern for "regular" employees, and less of a concern for employees who fit a "ministerial" category. You say that religious organizations have almost unlimited freedom to choose and un-choose their ministers. The ministerial exception means that employment decisions and requirements about ministerial personnel are not likely to be scrutinized by the court. Job descriptions become important in that context as well.

Therefore I think we need to look at more detail in job descriptions and perhaps later performance reviews in the ministerial or mission environment. Back in my pre-field orientation and training days, we used to help new missionaries think about their work. The list of things that they did relative to missions work, that would normally fit in the category of a "job description," were actually more like a "life description." We were trying to help them think in a more holistic way about everything they did. It's very difficult to decide when you stop being a missionary during your day-to-day activities. Is it at 5 PM? What about the person that comes and visits after hours? Are you working if you show a video, or conduct a Bible study, in your home?

I would like to think in more detail about how we help organizations create position descriptions, etc., for these situations with such fluid boundaries. I'm really looking forward to hearing from you about this!


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