Accountability

The Presbytery of New Hope will shift to a grants model for funding various ministries and projects. In order for this model to work, and indeed for Presbytery to succeed in its overall mission, ministry and project participants must be accountable to one another and to their leadership, and leaders must be accountable to the Presbytery.

Accountability is the guiding principle that defines how we make commitments to one another, how we measure and report progress, how we interact when things go wrong, and how much ownership we take to get things done.

Accountability is both a promise and an obligation to deliver specific defined results. Accountability applies to individuals and their personal promise(s) that their activities will deliver the agreed results. In this case, accountability is first and foremost a personal commitment to the Presbytery and its mission.

The twelve key characteristics of accountable New Hope ministries and project teams are:

  1. The leader or co-leaders can articulate the goal, describe a path and timeline for reaching the goal, and describe how each participant contributes to reaching the goal. The leader or co-leader can also describe the consequences of not reaching the goal or maintaining the timeline and will be prepared to acknowledge when the goal or timeline are endangered.
  2. The goal or goals and timeline are clear to all parties including the ministry or project team leader(s) and all of the participants or team members. The goal or goals and timeline have been communicated to the Presbytery leadership and staff and have been acknowledged or accepted. The goal or goals and timeline have been communicated to all participants or team members and they have accepted the charge.
  3. Each participant or team member can articulate the goal(s) and timeline and list at least three activities assigned to or uniquely undertaken by them, along with an associated deadline, which will move the ministry or team toward its goal(s). They will be prepared to acknowledge when their activities are not being completed or their deadlines not met.
  4. The leader or co-leaders are committed to gaining and sharing knowledge about their ministry or project with their team members and Presbytery. The leader or co-leaders are also committed to gaining, developing, exercising leadership skills and sharing those skills with Presbytery, leaders of other teams or ministries, and members of their own team or ministry.
  5. The leader or co-leaders can describe the key resources needed for their work and how those resources will be used. The leader or co-leaders are committed to securing and sharing the resources their ministry or team needs to do its work. The participants or team members are committed to the careful stewardship of their resources. The participants or team members will account for how resources are used and report to their leadership. The leadership will likewise report to the Presbytery. At all levels this reporting will be voluntary and proactive so that the Presbytery can allocate resources on an ongoing basis and properly plan for future projects and ministries.
  6. The leaders or co-leaders will aggressively communicate with their participants or team members, seek feedback, identify needed resources, and mend any broken lines of communication.
  7. The leaders or co-leaders will obtain on a regular basis, from participants or members, the status of on-going activities and progress toward goals. They will help participants or members focus on productive activities and meet deadlines and eliminate unproductive activities. Ministry or team members will likewise support one another in productive activities and meeting deadlines and the elimination of unproductive or counterproductive activities.
  8. The leaders or co-leaders will report to the Presbytery on a regular basis their progress toward their goal(s), allocation of resources, and need for future resources. They will acknowledge the consequences of not meeting their goals or staying on their timelines.
  9. The leaders or co-leaders will pause in their work, assemble their team, and ask the Presbytery for guidance when they do not believe they are making acceptable progress toward their goals. They will resume their work when they believe they have achievable goals and a reasonable timeframe.
  10. When goals are achieved the leader or co-leaders will celebrate with their participants or team members, will acknowledge publicly the contribution of each team member, and will provide a written report to Presbytery. The report will list three keys to its success, three hurdles or obstacles which were overcome, and how achieving the goal or goals impacted the lives of at least three communities or individual persons.
  11. When the leader or co-leaders recognize that their goal will not be achieved they will either define, secure approval and pursue a new goal, or will graciously disband to free up resources for other efforts.
  12. The leader or co-leader will identify and encourage one or more future leaders among their team or participants and agree to mentor them for some period of time in the taking up of a new ministry or project.